Parramatta Eels duo tipped to be a handful
The attacking licence granted by new Parramatta coach Ricky Stuart to his key offensive duo Chris Sandow and Jarryd Hayne has the potential to light up the NRL, according to the link between the two - hooker Matt Keating.
Sandow joined Hayne at the Eels to much fanfare for the 2012 season but the combination failed to fire in a difficult year for the club.
But in their first outing under Stuart, Hayne and Sandow showed enough in the Eels round one win over the Warriors that they will be a handful for opposition sides this year.
And Keating says it comes down to the 'freelance' style of football they can play under 2002 premiership winning coach Stuart.
"The best thing for Jarryd and the best thing for Chris is for them to play freelance footy, that's the way they play, that's the way they have grown up, so if other blokes in the team can do their job, if they can set the platform, they will jump on the back of it and do what they do best," Keating told AAP.
"There are structures in place but it is about us using our eyes and playing football. The better players use their eyes and play what is in front of them and that's what we are trying to develop.
"They both had massive off-seasons, I don't think either of them missed a session, so that's a big positive.
"They are both fitter than ever. The whole squad is.
"I think confidence is a big thing for both of them. Hopefully they can keep growing."
After their impressive first-up win, Parramatta face 2012 grand finalists Canterbury in round two on Thursday in a sterner test of their credentials.
Keating will come up against his brother in the match, Bulldogs halfback Kris.
"There has been a massive difference so far (compared to last year), but this is another big test for us," he said.
"They had a great run to the grand final last year and as a brother it was great seeing him enjoy that, but it will be a different situation when I come up against him on Thursday."