Ladies Who League: Round 12
This week, our Ladies Who League blogger, Mary Kaye, looks forward to Friday night's Battle of the West between her Eels and the Penrith Panthers. Remember, you can see more of her work on ladieswholeague.com.
Stop what you are doing right now Eels fans. I promise this will only take a second. Take a look at the NRL ladder as it currently stands and have a look where the Parramatta Eels are sitting.
That's right, we currently sit at fourth. A tremendous achievement and one which the boys should be very proud of.
While it would be easy to get carried away, it was encouraging to see Mitch Allgood say during this week that the boys aren't too focused on the ladder as we head into this week's clash. It is still early in the season and it is not the time to get too far ahead of ourselves.
This weekend we face one of our biggest rivals, the Penrith Panthers, in what has been dubbed the Battle of the West.
What I think will be most interesting this week however, is to see whether Jarryd Hayne is able to back up from State of Origin duties (congratulations to both Jarryd and Will Hopoate again on their selection).
Both Jarryd and Will have been integral to our success this year. We are slowly watching Jarryd grow in confidence each week and return to his career best form. Will has been one of our most consistent performers as well and each week demonstrates the class and ability which has seen him selected for State of Origin despite only coming back to the NRL at the beginning of this year.
With Jarryd potentially out of the mix this week and Willie Tonga out with a rib injury, it will give some of our more underrated players an opportunity to step up this week.
Our backline has already seen a new inclusion with Ryan Morgan stepping in for Willie Tonga. Last year Possum was one of our most solid and consistent performers so it will be good to see him get an opportunity in first grade again.
Lee Mossop has also been named 18th man by Brad Arthur. We are yet to see much of Lee Mossop this year, so I am hoping that this is his week to shine.
Penrith will be without one of their stars (and one of my favourites) Kevin Kingston for the clash and will be looking to exact revenge on the Eels for their 32-16 victory in round 4 this year. Rest assured, this will be a tough game. Both Penrith and Parramatta are now sitting inside the top four of the ladder and both teams will be fresh following the bye last weekend.
Whatever the result, it is excellent to see the teams which are the heart of Western Sydney doing so well in this year's NRL competition.
Good luck to the boys on Friday night - I'll keep my fingers crossed for a victory!