Dyldam Parramatta Eels Head Coach Brad Arthur says his side is confident, despite heading into tomorrow night’s clash with the in-form North Queensland Cowboys as underdogs.
The Eels’ side has a number of changes following various injuries, but Arthur says they’re preparation has been very positive.
“You gain your confidence through your preparation, and we’ve prepared really well,” Arthur said.
“It’s something we’ve tried to pride ourselves on all year; it’s definitely going to be a tough ask coming up [to Townsville], but it’s a challenge the boys are looking forward to.”
Arthur labelled the Cowboys’ consistency and ability to do simple things well as a key area of the upcoming game.
“I think possession will play a big part, but [rugby league] is a pretty basic. fundamental game and that’s what the Cowbpys have been doing that really well; they complete their sets, kick long and make their tackles and we have to be able to match them in that part,” he said.
Joseph Paulo will join Luke Kelly in the halves following the club’s release of Chris Sandow and with Corey Norman on the sidelines with PCL injury.
“Joey has got a really good skill-set, and he’s probably a half in a bigger body,” Arthur said.
“But he’s got great skill and knows our game plan really well and he’ll help Luke steer the ship.”
Despite a busy week with off-field media attention, Arthur insisted the Eels were only focussed on Monday night’s game.
“We’ve done a reasonable job of tying to shield the players from any of the outside influences, and the players are only focussed on what they can control which is the attitude they take on the field,” he said.
“We’ve had distractions all year, so we’re used to it.”
Kick-off is at 7pm on Monday, July 27 at 1300Smiles Stadium. Follow us on Twitter @theparraeels!