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Previewing tonight's match against the North Queensland Cowboys thanks to Unibet, Dyldam Parramatta Eels Assistant Coach Peter Gentle says the Cowboys' position on the ladder shouldn't distract from the challenge they'll pose on the field.

“They’re a lot better team than the table suggests,” Gentle said.

“They like to play very fast, they like to bring [Jonathan] Thurston onto the front foot so it’s a big job for our middle to try and win that ruck, dominate the middle, which I don’t think we’ve done the last couple of weeks. Right across the field we’ve got to be better defensively.”

“They’re going to be desperate, and we’re expecting a very tough game.”

And when it comes to preparation for the Round 8 match up, Gentle says the focus for the Blue and Gold has stayed firmly on producing a strong performance each week. 

“This year, we have a look at the opposition," Gentle said.

"But we’ve got to get our own house in order first."

The Dyldam Parramatta Eels and the North Queensland Cowboys kick off at 5.30pm tonight at 1300SMILES Stadium, with NYC kicking off at 3.15pm.