Dyldam Parramatta Eels co-captain Jarryd Hayne says the biggest battle against the Sydney Roosters tomorrow night will be in the forward packs, with the reigning premiers having plenty of prove.
With stars like Jared Waerea-Hargreaves, Sam Moa, Boyd Cordner and Mitch Aubusson in their starting forward pack, as well as French import Remi Casty coming off the bench, the Roosters pack is a formidable task.
“It’s a massive game for our forward pack - it’s going to be huge, they’re the reigning premiers and their forward pack is big and hopefully us backs can complement them,” Hayne said.
“Last year the way they dominated the competition they led through their forwards, so it’s going to be a big task, and there’s no other team you’d want to play right now than the Roosters just to see where you’re at.”
The Roosters will be in front of their home crowd for the first time this season, and looking to rectify last week’s Round 1 loss to the Rabbitohs.
“I’m sure they’re going to be twice as hungry and a bit disappointed at the way they lost last week, so they’re going to have plenty of fire and we’re expecting that,” Hayne said.
The Eels are backing up after a big win over the Warriors, which Haynesy says has given them a much-needed confidence boost.
“Starting well and what we did being in the grind for a bit - and to pull away and get the win was good,” he said.
“The attitude towards defence has changed, the aggression and coming up against the Warriors, to outmuscle a physical team like them was big for us, we haven’t done that against teams for a long time.”
Despite missing star second-rower Sonny Bill Williams, Jarryd says the Roosters still a competitive side.
“They’ve played without Sonny before, they’ve said that, and it’s not just him that’s the reason they’re so dominant,” he said.
“They’ve got a lot of great players who can change the course of the game - and for us, it’s about looking forward to the challenge.”