Dyldam Parramatta Eels back-rower Joseph Paulo has welcomed the chance to play in front of the Blue and Gold Army this week after a disappointing defeat in Townsville in Round 8 of the NRL Telstra Premiership.
The Eels forward said the squad has come back from the Representative Round break ready to build momentum through their upcoming back-to-back home games at Parramatta.
“It starts this week at Pirtek Stadium, we always lift when we’re in front of our home crowd and we hope to see the Blue and Gold Army there,” he said.
If this week’s homecoming wasn’t enough to lift the side, Round 9 marks the second annual Johnny Mannah Cup, a game played in honour of the late Jon Mannah, who made 24 first grade appearances for the Sharks, before joining his brother Tim at the Parramatta Eels.
“It obviously brings back a lot of memories," he said.
"And I know we’ll be giving everything, not only for Parra, but for Johnny, who’s resting in peace right now."
Sefa says when it comes to kick off on Monday night, the Eels side will be wary of the Sharks, including their star-studded forward pack.
“Luke Lewis, if he’s back, I know he’ll make a big difference to their team and for us, we just have to learn a way to outmuscle them in different areas,” he said.
“And I know Fifita will be happy to be back [after playing in] the City team; so I think for us it’ll be a big challenge and hopefully we can step up to that challenge this week.”