Dyldam Parramatta Eels hooker Isaac De Gois says the Blue and Gold won’t be taking the Knights lightly in their Round 25 clash on Saturday.
After playing a pivotal role in helping the Eels overcome a 12 point deficit to beat the Sea Eagles, Coach Brad Arthur described his hooker’s performance as the best performance of his career.
A relative NRL veteran in the Eels line-up, De Gois was quick to turn the attention away from himself, crediting the inspirational second half to the belief and desperation of his side as they fought to keep their finals hopes alive.
“I thought it was a great performance from everyone,” De Gois said.
“We were down 12-0 against, in my opinion, the top side in the comp and we just stuck to our game plan and the coaches instructions and came through on top. It was a [really] good performance from everyone.”
Moving from an interchange role at the Sharks straight into the starting hooker role at the Eels has seen De Gois racking up minutes right from his first 80-minute appearance for the club against the Bulldogs in Round 14.
“It’s helped my footy out having more game time,” De Gois said.
“And being a senior player has been great, it’s a big learning curve for myself, and I’m really enjoying it.”
When the Eels head to Hunter Stadium to take on Newcastle this weekend, they will go in with the same desperate mentality as they did against Manly, that is, they have to win to solidify a spot in the finals of what has been the closest NRL competition in recent years. People will argue that the win against Manly was due to the Parramatta side going in as underdogs with little expectations, and the situation is flipped when they verse the Knights this weekend.
A former Newcastle Knight himself, De Gois knows first-hand how much the passion of a Newcastle home crowd can help the Knights to victory, and the Eels will need to be on their game to keep their finals hopes alive on Saturday at Hunter Stadium.
“It’s going to be tough,” De Gois said.
“They’re obviously a very passionate support base in Newcastle, I was down there for 3 years. They’re going to be a tough team to beat, they’ve got a tough forward pack and their backs are playing really well.”
The Eels play the Knights at Newcastle's Hunter Stadium on Saturday, August 30, kicking off at 3.00pm.