Dyldam Parramatta Eels Head Coach Brad Arthur has confirmed lock Anthony Watmough and halfback Chris Sandow have overcome their injury concerns and are expected to play in tomorrow afternoon’s clash against the NZ Warriors at Mt Smart Stadium.
The Eels were nursing several injuries after their Round Two clash with Bulldogs, however Arthur confirmed the Blue and Gold had responded well to the eight day turnaround.
“You are going to get bumps and bruises every game and the boys have responded really well,” Arthur said.
“Choc will be fine, Chrissy will be fine but obviously Semi and Beau will be missing.”
Arthur will be looking for an improvement in the Eels completion rate, after the opening two rounds of the 2015 season have seen the Blue and Gold completing at ~60%, a rate Arthur wants to see improved this week.
“It’s a game where we can work on a few things that we need to improve from last week,” Arthur said.
“The main thing for us is about possession and completion. We need to give ourselves a chance to remain in the game.”
“We did a really tough job last week but we removed ourselves form the game due to a poor completion rate.”
“You can’t complete at 60% and have only 40% of the ball. You just can’t win games of football” he added.
The Warriors are coming off a victory from their trip to Canberra, and despite early rumours of Shaun Johnson and Sam Tomkins being unavailable, Arthur is preparing his side for a strong Warrior line-up.
“I think they will be sending out their strongest possible line up. Their game against the Raiders, they improved from the week before against Newcastle,” Arthur said.
“They are a big physical side and nothing really changes with them.”
“You have to try and contain their big fellas to try and limit the damage that Shaun Johnson and Sam Tomkins does at the back.”
The Warriors will play their first game of the 2015 season at home this Saturday afternoon and the Eels have been preparing well for the clash.
“Every team is tough to play on their day, especially at home, but it’s an area we need to focus on, preparing well when we are away from home and making sure we go out there and play with plenty of energy and enthusiasm,” Arthur said.
“They (Warriors) run hard, they tackle hard and they are a very physical team. They rely on their big fellas to get some momentum for them for their edge to do what they need to do.”
“They will come out fired up and they will try and bring the crowd into the game, but we just need to focus on what we need to do and complete our sets to give ourselves a chance.”