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Parramatta Eels star Semi Radradra aims to end try ‘drought’ as NRL career draws to close
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PARRAMATTA powerhouse winger Semi Radradra will be looking to end his try-scoring “drought’’ as he prepares for what could be his final month in the NRL.

Due back in court to face domestic violence charges on May 2 — four days after the Eels play North Queensland in round nine — Radradra has done his best to remain focused on the start to the latest campaign.

While he bagged four tries and was in wonderful spirits after the big round-two win over St George Illawarra, the Fijian did not cross the line against the Gold Coast and Cronulla.

Saturday’s trip to Canberra will also not be easy as he and centre partner Michael Jennings go head to head with Raiders giants Joey Leilua and Jordan Rapana.

Only twice in his career, which started at the end of 2013, has Radradra gone three matches without a try.

He produced his trademark nervous smile when The Daily Telegraph suggested he was in a “slump’’ after just two matches, given his extraordinary strike rate.

“The tries will come if there’s an opportunity to score,’’ Radradra said. “Sometimes you score, sometimes you don’t, you just have to keep trying.

“I feel good and the body is all right, it’s just been really disappointing the last two weeks. I’m not focused on counting how many games I have left.

“It’s not sad, and I’m just trying to do my best because I know this year is my last year. I haven’t thought about what has happened in the past or my situation off the field,.

“I try to focus on the boys and playing good footy every week.’’

 

Radradra knows the tries will come eventually.

Radradra went looking for action against the Sharks, with halfback Corey Norman directing most of his kicks to his left wing.

He has pleaded not guilty to two counts of common assault involving his former partner Perina Ting.

Ting said in court back in February Radradra had punched her in the face during an argument in November 2014 — two weeks after the birth of their child — then shoved her against a wall on another occasion in April 2015, which caused her to black out.

Should Radradra be found guilty, the NRL is expected to quickly ban him for at least the remainder of the season.

Given Radradra has inked a rich deal to play French rugby with Toulon, a guilty verdict would spell the end for the 24-year-old’s rugby league career.

Another delayed court hearing would allow him to continue playing, while if he cleared altogether, Radradra could even sign off with a World Cup appearance for Fiji before linking with Toulon.

Radradra has not spoken with Fiji’s coach, Mick Potter, just has he had not made any contact with anybody at Toulon.

One person who would love to see Radradra at the World Cup is Wests Tigers flyer Kevin Naiqama.

“He played in the last World Cup when nobody knew of him. He came off the bench in the backrow. He’s such a big human,’’ Fijian teammate Naiqama said.

“I know he has to do the best for him, and if he puts his hand up for Fiji, we’d love to have him, if he doesn’t, I wish him the best overseas.’’

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