In the Sheds: Junior Paulo
The Dyldam Parramatta Eels suffered a 28-4 defeat in their Round 19 clash against the Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs at ANZ Stadium on Friday night (17 July) and Eels forward Junior Paulo spoke in the sheds after the game about the result.
A stunned and disappointed Paulo reflected on the clash where the Blue and Gold were 'outclassed'.
“It is obviously not the result we wanted tonight. We were just outclassed.”Paulo said after the game.
“They had a big forward pack, our middle matched it with them, but we couldn’t capitalize on our opportunities.”
With the Eels trailing by two points heading into the half time sheds, the Bulldogs scored an unanswered 22 points in the second stanza with Paulo saying the side's composure had let them down.
“Our composure let us down, so it something we have to work on and hopefully we can back it up next week.” Paulo said.
“We just had to stick to the game plan and not panic. It is something that let us down in the second half, we were a bit frantic, and like I said, the Bulldogs were a class pack tonight.”
Paulo was a standout in the Eels forward pack, with 204m from his 20 runs, four tackle breaks and four offloads to go alongside his 28 tackle defensive effort in his 53 minutes on the field, however the prop found it challenging matching it with the size of the Bulldogs middle.
“It was challenging for us. We don’t have the size that they do but we stuck it to them,” Paulo said.
“It is something we have been working on the whole year, staying tight in the middle, and we held our own but hopefully we can capitalize on that going into the next seven games of the year.” He added.
The Eels suffered a running list of injuries throughout the clash, and Paulo was hopeful that the growing list would not affect the Blue and Gold’s back end of the season, which continues on Monday night (27 July) when they take on the North Queensland Cowboys at 1300Smiles Stadium.
“[The injuries] are an issue, when we were missing those three out on the field,” Paulo said.
“They are class players [Norman, Watmough, Gower] and they bring a lot to the team but we are hoping they are only short term injuries so hopefully they will be back as soon as they can. “
“It is going to be important, the last seven games of the season,” Paulo added.
“We are in a crucial position heading into the back end of the season, so we need to string a couple of wins.”
“We aren’t looking forward, we aren’t looking back, we just have to focus on what we are doing at the moment.”