Dyldam Parramatta Eels head coach Brad Arthur says the established rivalry between Parramatta and Manly will be a welcome challenge ahead of tomorrow night’s clash with the competition leaders.
“They are obviously the frontrunners and if we want to be in the semis and we want to make something of it then we need to compete with the good sides,” he said.
“We’re expecting a contest and there’s always been a bit of tradition and rivalry between Parramatta and Manly and we expect no different tomorrow night.”
With Parramatta coming off the back of a controversial loss to the Bulldogs, Brad was quick to ensure the media that the boys have moved on and will be ready to compete come Friday night.
“We’ve moved on very quickly and there are plenty of areas that we need to improve on to try and get the result,” he said.
“There were probably three defensive lapses and three tries scored against us, but they’ve responded very well and trained very well on Tuesday, with a bit of cricket on Monday.”
Manly’s recent form has been questioned by some, but with Brad’s previous work as assistant coach for the Sea Eagles he has squashed rumours of their supposed vulnerability.
“I know Manly pretty well and you’d be pretty game to say that they are not going to be at their best,” Brad said.
“Come Friday night and they are a real team of blokes who want to compete you know, they’ll scrape over a bone, so we’re expecting a contest.”
Parramatta are currently sitting in 9th place on the NRL ladder with the same amount of points as the 7th and 8th placed Cowboys and Warriors, respectively, making their finals contention very much alive.
“The boys have known for a while that we have an attitude to try and win every game and every game is important at this stage in the year.”
“This week is no different from last week and it’s going to be no different from next week.”
With the Eels returning to Pirtek Stadium for the first time since Round 19 and Arthur re-confirming the Eels desire to play finals at the end of the season, Parramatta will be relying on the support of the Blue and Gold Army.
“We haven’t been back there for a while so it will definitely help.”
“The last time we were there we got beaten by Souths but the boys had a real spirited effort and that’s what we’re looking for,” he said.
“We need the fans to get behind us.”
NRL kicks off at 7.45pm on Friday night at Pirtek Stadium, following NYC at 5.30pm. Click through to buy your tickets for our last home game of the season!