Dyldam Parramatta Eels forward Darcy Lussick says the Eels will be desperate for a win against long-time rivals, the Bulldogs, in Friday night’s Bandaged Bear Cup.
If the history between the two clubs wasn’t enough motivation, both are also looking to stay in contention for top eight berths at the end of the regular season.
And despite an 18-10 win against the Canberra Raiders over the weekend, Lussick said the Blue and Gold have plenty of room for improvement.
“There’s always a good rivalry between Parra and the Bulldogs,” Lussick said.
“At the moment we’re probably two pretty desperate teams in terms of a spot for the semi-finals, so it’s a crucial game for us.”
“We probably weren’t at our best on the weekend. Not taking anything away from the Raiders, they came out fired up and they really gave it to us.”
“We’re just battling away, just chipping away. We just try and improve every week.”
“And with the Bulldogs coming off a few losses, they’re always the teams that you fear the most. We know what we have to do this week and we’ll be ready.”
The Eels’ weekend win also marked the 99th and 100th tries for fullback Jarryd Hayne, and Lussick says the team is more than conscious that winning takes more than one player.
“He’s the type of player you don’t see come around very often, and it’s definitely good to play with him not against him,” Lussick said.
“But we don’t plan our game just ‘give it to Jarryd’ like the under 8s. We’re a team effort.”
“If our forwards aren’t going forward we don’t give him anything to play off. So as long as everyone’s playing their parts, he can chime in where he wants and obviously score a few tries.”
The Bandaged Bear Cup kicks off at 8.45pm on Friday night at ANZ Stadium. Click through to buy your tickets today!