For Dyldam Parramatta Eels forward Ben Smith, this Monday’s match against the Wests Tigers will be a bittersweet one.
Smith has been working hard with the club to promote the Round 7 #forthefarmers initiative, as the Eels dedicate their Easter Monday game to the farmers doing it tough on the land, and use the blockbuster to raise money for NSW Farmers.
But thanks to a finger fracture in the Eels’ Round 3 loss to the Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles, he’s also watched the last three rounds from the sideline, and faces at least one more week on the injury list.
“It is tough,” Smith admits.
“The boys are going so well but you want to be out there and be a part of it. It’s great to see them get those wins and going so well, but it is a bittersweet feeling.”
Parramatta will come up against another team with some exciting wins on the board this season, the Wests Tigers, and Smith is hoping you’ll see both team's form reflected in the stands on Monday afternoon.
“It’s good to see both teams being so successful after a disappointing last couple of years,” Smith said.
“Hopefully it’ll be a big game and a big turn out in terms of crowd.”
The turn-out won’t just be a show of support for the Blue and Gold, it will also be a message to Aussie farmers that their city counterparts understand the tough times farming families are enduring.
“It’s big for the farmers, this initiative,” Smith said.
“I don’t think people understand the severity of [the drought] at the moment, and what it takes to be able to provide and produce what people in the whole country need.”
“People who are not there first hand to experience it don’t understand how it has a butterfly effect on the whole country. Hopefully it’s a successful day and it shows the people that we care.”
Click through to see the video from Ben Smith’s trip to country NSW, or buy your tickets now and show your support #forthefarmers on Easter Monday!