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Nathan’s long wait for another shot at Jason over
March 26, 2010
Nathan Cayless can’t win. If it was not enough that the Parramatta captain has never beaten his brother Jason, or that the younger of the Caylesses has an NRL premiership, he is even being overlooked for the affection of his own children.
‘‘I get brushed whenever he comes over,’’ the veteran Eels prop says of Jason’s visits to his family home in West Pennant Hills. ‘‘They don’t want to know me.’’
They are Cayless’s kids Mia, 4, and Eddy, 2 (he and wife Erin also have a two-month-old daughter, Marli) and they are as delighted at having Uncle Jason back in Sydney as Tim Sheens is to have an international forward of his experience to call on at Wests Tigers.
After four years in the Super League with St Helens, Jason’s return to Australia not only gives him a chance to resume an NRL career that in its first 107-game incarnation included a grand final victory with Sydney Roosters, but allows him family contact not possible far away in Merseyside.
‘‘He comes over to our place once or twice a week for a play with the kids,’’ Cayless says. ‘‘They really missed him and he missed them.’’
The loyalty of the Cayless toddlers will be tested tonight, though you would have to think the old man would trump the uncle when the brothers come head-to-head on field for the first time in five years for the Eels and Tigers respectively.
Nathan, two days short of 32, needs all the help he can get against 30-year-old Jason. In five previous meetings between the pair, during Jason’s four-year stay at the Roosters, Nathan has never come out on top. A 12-12 draw between the Eels and Roosters in 2002 was the closest he has come. It is fair to say, then, that the former New Zealand captain has plenty to play for tonight even if direct combat with Jason may be limited with the junior sibling starting from the Tigers bench at the Sydney Football Stadium.
‘‘We get on pretty well, we’re pretty close so we’ll probably just do our best to avoid each other,’’ Cayless says. ‘‘It’s a bit hard these days to sort of go looking for one another. But it would be good to get something on him if we do come up against each other at some stage.’’
As for a bit of inter-family squabbling at the SFS? No chance. ‘‘We’ll both be just sucking up the oxygen,’’ Nathan says.
Picking and choosing his words carefully on the field, Cayless does the same to deflect recent criticism of his place in the Parramatta starting side. With the acquisition of NSW prop Justin Poore from St George Illawarra, the Eels’ front-row stocks look decidedly strong. Poore will start on the bench tonight, with Fuifui Moimoi promoted to the starting side in his 100th NRL game.
‘‘I just want to enjoy my footy and play the best I can,’’ Cayless said.
Should read Jason shot at Nathan…
Fire Up Jase…your stint could decide the game…!!!