Emanuelli takes strength from Carleton’s coaching

South Wales Scorpions skipper Paul Emanuelli is backing club coach Phil Carleton to lift the club to another level in League 1 this season.

The Scorpions have new owners, a new coaching team, and are also benefitting from better training facilities, as they head into the 2016 campaign.

Phil Carleton the new head coach is totally different to Mike Grady,” Emanuelli told Love Rugby League.

“I loved working with Mike Grady [former Scorpions coach], for a few years I really developed a great relationship with him.

“But I’ve played with Phil for years, and Phil is the same sort of coach as he was player.

“He’ll give you everything – he’s prepared, he’s the ultimate professional.

“This year, he’s asked us to be honest about everything we do, and if we give 100 per cent, and we’re honest, then perhaps we can perform better than we have the last couple of years.”

Carleton seems to have instilled a tough, steely mentality in training, according to Emmanuelli.

“Phil’s very demanding as a coach,” he added.

“His biggest thing is that no one drops out. The fitness, the conditioning, the professionalism, he’s upped the bar massively this year.

“But that’s also come from new owners. We’ve got far better facilities, and I think that makes a huge difference.

“It can’t just be from the players, it’s got to come from the top as well.

“This year, there’s a big difference, and hopefully it will pay dividends.”

The Scorpions have also dipped into the ranks of Welsh rugby union for recruits. The difference in training and demands has come as a shock to the boys from the 15-man code, but they are adapting well.

“I’ve played league right through, but I’ve played union to a high standard too, the same as some of the guys we’ve signed,” Emanuelli explained.

“The guys we’ve signed like Dai Evans, who was the most prolific try scorer in the Welsh Premiership rugby union, and Kristian Baller, who’s had a great career with Pontypridd and Cross Keys.

“They’ve come into the training, and week one, week two, when we did the full wrestle sessions, the things that they’re not used to you should have seen their faces!

“It’s a totally different fitness. I think the biggest thing is people carry a lot more weight playing rugby union.

“It’s a different type of weight. Kristian’s lost 10 kilos, Dai Evans has put on weight, being a lot slighter as a winger in union.

“From what I’ve seen in training, they’re certainly adapting, and I’m excited by the additions we’ve made this year.”

The technical demands of rugby league are also different to union, and this is an area in which Emmanuelli expects his team to be more proficient this season.

“Since I’ve been playing, I think Welsh teams tend to lose it around the ruck,” he said.

“That’s our biggest thing – understanding the tackle technique.

“Union players are used to hitting rucks and tackling low, it’s just a different concept.

“It’s very technical, we’ve done a lot of video sessions. We’re a lot more prepared.”

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