The Dyldam Parramatta Eels will take on the Wests Tigers for their Round 17 clash at ANZ Stadium on Monday night (6 July) and Eels utility Joseph Paulo says the Blue and Gold will be eager to tackle their forward pack head on, which should go a long way in claiming the two points.
With the Eels achieving their first back to back wins of the season after defeating the Dragons 16-12 last week in front of a vocal Blue and Gold Army at Pirtek Stadium, Paulo says the mood around the squad is positive heading into the upcoming Wests Tigers clash.
“It always helps the morale of the team when you are winning back to back, and we haven’t done it in a while so it is always good to get that win, especially in front of the home crowd,” Paulo said to the media on Friday morning.
“They really create a good atmosphere and it was good to bring it home for them.” Paulo added.
Paulo is set to feature off the bench for the Blue and Gold, and the utility knows the Blue and Gold forward pack will need to be ready for a challenge up front.
“They will be really tough up the middle with some of the biggest forwards in their team,” Paulo said of the Wests Tigers.
“For us it will be a big challenge for our forward pack to tackle them front on and hopefully we can come away with the challenge and the win.”
“We know how hard they want to play, and when we play them they are a tough opposition for us so I think it will be a real mental test for us.”
Whilst Wests Tigers forward Martin Taupau has been dangerous all year, Paulo did not discount their young talented forwards coming off the bench.
“I saw Marty Taupau against Souths and he was tremendous against them,” Paulo said.
“For us, we have to look to lock him down and even their young forwards coming off the bench, Taupau, Matty Lodge, they will be tough and we have to be really ready for the wrestle” Paulo added.
However the Eels will be ready to match the aggression with their own enforcer, with Manu Ma’u returning from a two week suspension.
“Manu Ma’u brings that aggression and toughness,” Paulo said of the Blue and Gold second rower.
“I have seen him at training for the past two weeks and he is itching to get out there and I look forward to see him run on those edges.”
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.