The Dyldam Parramatta Eels are seeking an improved performance when they head to Townsville this weekend to take on the North Queensland Cowboys in Round 8 of the NRL Telstra Premiership. 

After a disappointing finish against the Wests Tigers in front of 50,668 people at ANZ Stadium on Easter Monday, the Eels are determined to find ways to close out tough games. 

“It’s probably a game we lost ourselves,” Blue and Gold five-eighth Corey Norman said.

“We had opportunities to close that game out and we didn’t.”

The players are now committed to turning things around with a positive week at training, with the short turnaround before heading north. 

“We know what we need to do to get to the level that we know how to play at, so it’s just a matter of getting back tomorrow, getting back on the bike and doing that,” Eels centre Willie Tonga said.

“We’re just looking forward to bouncing back against North Queensland.”

For the Eels, Kenny Edwards will miss the game with a fractured hand, expecting to be sidelined for four to six weeks. 

It will see the return of Peni Terepo into the side on the bench, with Pauli Pauli named to be in the run-on side for the first time in his career. 

The Cowboys have made a few changes, with Ray Thompson returning as halfback next to co-captain Jonathan Thurston, with Robert Lui and Kyle Feldt dropping out of the side to play Intrust Super Cup. 

Kane Linnett is also returning to the side at left centre after recovering from a back injury that kept him out of Good Friday’s loss to the Sea Eagles. 

Anthony Mitchell, Ethan Lowe and Joel Riethmuller have all been named on a six-man bench.

Both teams are looking to bounce back from agonisingly close losses, with the Eels down by three points to the Tigers and the Cowboys losing by five points to Manly over the Easter break. 

Kick-off is at 5.30pm at 1300Smiles Stadium in Townsville. 

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