The Dyldam Parramatta Eels take on the South Sydney Rabbitohs this Friday night at Pirtek Stadium for their ‘Salute to Service’ round, and lock Anthony Watmough is expecting a tough clash against the competition’s benchmark.
“We haven’t been too lucky to start the year but we have prepared all pre-season for this,” Watmough said of the injury toll surrounding the Eels.
“We just didn’t turn up against the Warriors, its plain and simple.”
“We shot ourselves in the foot, like Brad Arthur said, but we can do a lot better and we will have to do a lot better this week against the Rabbitohs who are the benchmark,” he said.
Watmough, who was frank in the Eels assessment against the Warriors last week, knows the Blue and Gold have improvements to make but the loss was a wake up call the side needed.
“We know we can play footy. We just have to hold the ball, control the game and play to our pattern,” Watmough said.
“We were just too loose in the middle which was due to a bit of fatigue from doing too many tackles the past few weeks leading into it and finally it took it’s toll.”
“But it was a big wake up call for the boys which is good and we know we have to be at a better standard.”
The near 300 game veteran was disappointed with his own personal form and knows he has to step up this week.
“I think my form has been poor. I can use as many excuses as I want but personally I haven’t been up to standard and I know I have to do better,” Watmough said.
“I thought I started pretty decent with my ‘D’ in the first couple of weeks but obviously everybody was a little bit off on the weekend but I haven’t been getting involved enough with the ball.”
“It is something I am going to have to change and put my hand up a little bit more and start trying to take the lead a little bit more.”
The Eels will return to Pirtek Stadium this Friday night and will clash with the unbeaten Rabbitohs, a challenge Watmough and the Eels are ready to tackle head on.
“They have a 15 game win streak, or something along those lines, and they are the benchmark for a reason,” Watmough said of his opposition.
“They are where they are because they train hard, they work hard and they work hard for one another and we have to go out there, and get a bit of luck I think because we are understrength, but we are going to go out there and do a job.”
“We know we have a job to do and we know what we have to do to win the game.”
Watmough will go head to head with friend and former team-mate Glenn Stewart, who Watmough believes can have a big impact in the game if the Eels are not careful.
“I think Glenn Stewart has added another dimension to their attack,” Watmough said.
“They are not just a run through you, muscle you out of the game team. They are a real attacking team with some flair and he has just added to that so he is just another person we have to watch.”
“I think he controls that team really well and helps their halves out. He puts on these little plays down the short side, which are tricky so we will have to watch out for him.”
Watmough was looking forward to returning back home to the Eels home ground Pirtek Stadium and giving the Blue and Gold Army something to cheer about this week.
“It is going to be good to be back at Pirtek Stadium,”
“It was good to see the crowd there last time for my first experience, and we have 19,000 Members now so it would be good to see the Blue and Gold Army there cheering for us and really getting behind the boys and hopefully getting away with a good victory.”