Gower: For ourselves, for Brad, and for the fans
An embarrassed David Gower says the Blue and Gold need to start playing a full, committed 80 minutes week-to-week for Head Coach Brad Arthur, and for their fans.
The Dyldam Parramatta Eels forward says the side’s preparation to face the Melbourne Storm began with a brutal video session at the Eels’ Old Saleyards training fields reviewing footage of their 36-30 loss to the North Queensland Cowboys in Round 13.
“It was sombre,” Gower said.
“We had a pretty open and honest video session, and we got shown a few things that weren’t up to NRL standard. That’s probably the most embarrassed I’ve ever been on an NRL field.”
“We were disappointed for 2 days, but we’ve got no choice but to move on. If we start dwelling this week will be on us before we know it and we won’t be able to prepare correctly and put in a good performance in Melbourne.”
For the Eels, rebounding from the game that got away requires the ability to produce a complete team performance that spans a full 80 minutes.
“It’s getting to a point where the 80 minute performances, they have to start coming for us,” Gower said.
“The positive [in Round 13] was that for 60 minutes we played some bloody good footy, apart form that 10 minute period that we’re embarassed about, and we know that it’s not good enough.”
“The goal - and it’s been our problem all year - is that we need to start putting together 80 minute performances regularly. We can’t play good for 70 and take the foot off the pedal for 10 because, unfortunately, that’s probably cost us four or five games this year.”
Media coverage during the week focussed on halfback, Chris Sandow, and Gower says the number seven’s form is key.
“Chrissy and Corey [Norman] have a big job for us; they’re our halves,” Gower said.
“We need 1-17 to do our job and execute our game plan for 80 minutes.”
And while Monday night’s game marks a milestone moment for Corey Norman, who plays his 100th NRL game, and Anthony Watmough, who plays his 300th, Gower says the fans will be foremost in his mind.
“Choc’s played 300, and Corey’s a young player and he’s playing great footy for us,” Gower said.
“We owe it to them for a great performance, and more importantly we owe it to ourselves and Brad and our fans.”
The Eels kick off against the Storm at 7pm on Monday, June 15, at AAMI Park.