The Dyldam Parramatta Eels went down in a narrow loss to the St. George-Illawarra Dragons, however despite the disappointing loss, the Blue and Gold will quickly put things behind them as they head through to the Quarter Finals to take on the defending champions the North Queensland Cowboys.
“We are very disappointed. We started great yesterday and I think we started a little bit flat today,” Gower said of the loss.
“Our energy wasn’t there and luckily enough, we will have another go in the Quarter Finals so we have to move forward and get that poor performance out of the way.”
The Blue and Gold will be looking to improve on last year’s Auckland Nines performance after they were knocked out in the tournament in the Quarter Final stage in 2014.
“The good thing for us is that we have a lot of room for improvement. We won two games yesterday but there were patches where we played poorly so if we can string and 18 minute game together, I’m very confident we can be successful.”
Despite the ad-lib, free flowing style of football, Gower was confident in the structures that Head Coach Brad Arthur had instilled in the team.
“As long as we play Parramatta football we will be alright whoever we play. I’m confident in the structures Brad has got for us and as long as we play our own brand of football we will be successful.”
And whilst the loss was disappointing, the Eels will have a second opportunity in the tournament.
“I don’t we adapted well enough to the conditions early,” Gower said.
“In that second half, I think we didn’t complete 5 or 6 sets in a row and that just made us tackle a lot more and it really put us under pressure. In the end it told, we got beat towards the end.”
“It is pretty disappointing but we have learnt from it and we will move on.”
Gower gave positive wraps to his fellow teammates who have been in outstanding form during the tournament and was confident in the Eels wing pairing of Reece Robinson and Semi Radradra.
“Tepai is a big strong kid who is only going to improve with age and in saying that, he is new to this format too so he is only going to get better,” Gower said.
“I think we need to use Reece Robinson a lot more. He is very quick and I would be very surprised if there is a quicker player out there in this tournament so we need to start getting him the ball.”
“With Semi, I don’t think there are any other wingers as quick as we have so we need to get them the ball a little bit more and make sure we utilize them” he added.