Dyldam Parramatta Eels centre Brad Takairangi says the upcoming Round 17 clash against the Wests Tigers at ANZ Stadium on Monday 6 July will be a vital fixture for the Blue and Gold as they aim for three consecutive victories.
The Eels will be buoyed by the return of Manu Ma’u for the tough clash, and Takairangi says the Blue and Gold will enter the game with plenty of confidence.
“It was good to get that win on the weekend,” Takairangi said of the Eels Round 16 win over the Dragons.
“We have been putting in a lot of effort over the last couple of months and it’s good to see the results going our way now.”
With the Eels claiming their first back to back wins of the season, Takairangi said the upcoming Round 17 clash would be crucial before the side’s second bye next weekend.
“We have pinpointed this period of a couple of games between the byes that we need to win,” Takairangi said.
“We have won two in a row and hopefully we can make it three in a row this week.”
The Eels will be without centre Will Hopoate whilst the Wests Tigers will miss Robbie Farah and Aaron Woods due to Origin duties, however Takairangi says the opposition still hold plenty of dangers, including the dangerous Martin Taupau.
“The Tigers have a few dangers with Marty Taupau in great form and Tedesco is always a danger. They will keep us on our toes this weekend and we are looking forward to the challenge,” Takairangi said.
“A lot of their attack comes off the back of Marty Taupau so we will have a big focus on trying to control him and the forward pack and hopefully that goes a long way for us to getting the win”
“We are missing Hop and they are missing Farah and Woods, but no matter who they put on the field it will be a tough challenge,” Takairangi added.
The Eels suffered a 6-22 defeat to the hands of the Wests Tigers at ANZ Stadium in Round 5, 2015, and despite suffering defeats in their last two clashes, Takairangi says the side will bring plenty of confidence.
“Playing at Pirtek Stadium the boys grow another leg but we are pretty confident in how we have been playing the last couple of weeks and hopefully we can transfer that out to ANZ Stadium,” Takairangi said.
Eels Head Coach Brad Arthur has made two changes to his line up including the return of Manu Ma’u from suspension, and Takairangi praised his fellow left edge players who have crossed for 34 tries down that third of the field in 2015.
“Manu is a big part of our team and our left edge has been firing and we have missed him out there so it is good to have him back,” Takairangi said.
“He is a big part of our team.”
“Semi is also big part of our team, with not only his try scoring ability but the things he is doing off the ball, and his carries early in the tackle count really help the boys.” Takairangi added.
The Eels will take on the Wests Tigers at ANZ Stadium on Monday 6 July, kick off at 7pm. Eels Members will also enjoy free reciprocal Member access to the game - click through for more information.