The Dyldam Parramatta Eels take on the Canterbury Bankstown Bulldogs tonight at ANZ Stadium, kick off at 7:35pm, and Assistant Coach Steve Murphy says the Blue and Gold are expecting their opposition to come at them hard through the middle in tonight’s encounter.
Previewing the Round 19 clash, thanks to Unibet, Murphy says the Eels are confident they will be able to contain a Bulldogs side that boasts plenty of dangers not only in the middle of the field, but through their outside backs.
“We have prepared really well, we know we have to against another quality opponent this week,” Murphy said.
“The Dogs will come at us pretty hard, especially through the middle, and we know that their back five are also very dangerous out of the back field so we will have to do a very good job tonight and we are very confident we can do that.”
With the Bulldogs boasting a monstrous forward pack, including captain James Graham, Frank Pritchard and Sam Kasiano, Murphy says that it is not just their size the Eels need to be wary of, but also their ball playing ability and hard running on the edges.
“They are all 120 kilo players and they all have skill to go with their frame,” Murphy said.
There is plenty of second phase there, plenty of ball playing ability out the back on the edges.”
“A few of them in Kasiano and Pritchard don’t mind floating around out wide and running at your centre and halves. They play plenty of shape out on those edges so we will need to do a good job defensively.” Murphy said.
With rain expected to ease as kick off approaches, Murphy said the wet conditions will stress even more importance on the Eels kicking game and kick chase.
“The wet conditions will make our kick chase vitally more important,” Murphy said.
“Whoever controls the ball best will obviously go a long way to winning the game and the kicking game becomes paramount.”
And with the Eels showing plenty of dangers out on their left edge with leading try scorer Semi Radradra, Murphy did not discount the work that the Blue and Gold forwards have done in the middle of the field.
“Our left edge has been strong but that can only happen if our forwards do their job in the middle of the field and get us rolling down the field,” Murphy said.
“Our forwards have been doing a really good job in getting us over the advantage line and if that happens both edges are capable of scoring points.”