Dyldam Parramatta Eels forward David Gower says the Eels gritty Round 14 victory over the Melbourne Storm was positive signs for the Blue and Gold as they fought hard to come away with the two points despite their injury concerns during the contest.
The victory may have come at a price, with the Eels to do further testing on Reece Robinson, Nathan Peats and Kaysa Pritchard this week after receiving injuries in Monday night’s clash. However Gower said the side was determined to come away with the two points despite the adversity, which included a potential match winning try to the Storm in the dying two minutes.
“Sometimes you need a bit of luck and I think we got that in the end there,” Gower said in the sheds after the game.
“The boys dug deep and we wanted to play for 80, it wasn’t our best 80 minutes by a long shot but we hung in there, played tough and did what we had to do to get the win.”
The Storm had scored two early tries to take a 12-0 lead off the back of some poor handling and penalties, and Gower credit the Blue and Gold bench of Pritchard, Pauli Pauli, Darcy Lussick and Danny Wicks who steadied the ship.
“I think they got the jump on us early; it took us 10 minutes to settle in,” Gower said.
“We gave away a few penalties early, our discipline was poor early and a couple of drops had us on the back foot.
“Once our bench came on, they really steadied us. I thought Kaysa Pritchard was outstanding for us and the boys were just hungry to win and that showed for 80 minutes tonight.”
“We need to build on that because we can play a hell of a lot better.” Gower added.
With the Blue and Gold faced with injuries during the match, Gower said the side would do anything they had to do to come away with the win, which included the second rower playing as the Eels five-eighth for half the game.
“That’s what we want to pride ourselves on going forward [that gutsy performance]. We are going to compete, no matter who is on the field, the thirteen are going to compete no matter who is in the Parramatta jersey have to play footy and take pride in everything they do and compete for every play and every minute of the game,” Gower said.
“We had players playing everywhere, I was playing at five eighth for half the game, and you just have to do what you have to do to play with pride and passion and I think we did that tonight.”
As the Eels fought themselves back into the grinding match, and reclaim the lead in the final 5 minutes of the game via a try to Tepai Moeroa, Gower did not question the belief of the side.
“We knew we could beat them and we knew we had them,” Gower said.
“There was belief the whole game, even when we were behind early, there was belief.”
“We know we are a good side and if we showed up with that belief and attitude last week we would of beat the Cowboys by 50 and that’s the most disappointing thing.”
“To our credit, we showed a bit of grit, fight tonight, desperation and we came away with the win.”
Eels winger Semi Radradra crossed for the opening two Blue and Gold tries and along with making the match winning tackle with a minute remaining on the clock, Gower praised the winger who now sits third on the NRL’s Top Scorer list for 2015.
“Semi has been great for the last month,” Gower said.
“We missed him when he was out injured but he has been great for us and continuing to improve.”
“That left edge are playing some great footy for us and we need Semi to keep improving because if he keeps going that way, we will give him opportunities that he will finish off for us.”
The Eels will have the bye this week before taking on the St George Illawarra Dragons at Pirtek Stadium on Saturday 27 June.