Unibet Game Day Preview: Round 20
Dyldam Parramatta Eels Assistant Coach Pete Gentle previews the Blue and Gold Round 20 clash against the North Queensland Cowboys at 1300Smiles Stadium, thanks to Unibet.
Gentle had pinpointed a a big challenge for our forwards along with seizing an opportunity for some of the new fresh faces in the Blue and Gold this week.
"It has been very positive. They probably have a real reason to drop their heads but they have been real positive," Gentle said of the Eels' attitude towards training ahead of hte Cowboys.
"We weren't very good last week for a number of reasons across the park, but it has been very positive this week."
With the Eels facing a new look line up this week, with Corey Norman, Danny Wicks and Anthony Watmough all unavailable due to injury, Gentle said that the return of Reece Robinson and the additions of Dan Alvaro and Joseph Paulo to the side have brought a plenty of enthusiasm and a unique opportunity.
"Already at training, they have brought a lot of enthusiasm as younger blokes," Gentle said.
"They also get an opportunity, they both have a point to prove but they get that opportunity. Unfortuantely, they have it through injury, but the balance of the side looks good this week."
With the Cowboys sitting second on the NRL Telstra Premiership ladder, and heading into the clash with 14 wins from their past 15 games, Gentle said the forward battle up front will go a long way in shutting down the dangers of halves Johnathan Thurstan and Michael Morgan.
"I am telling you nothing if I talk about Thurston, Morgan and Coote," Gentle said.
"But their forwards really lay a platform, they give Thurston and Morgan that space to play. Our forwards really need to be good."
"We won in the forwards, and for 50 minutes when we played them last time, we were really good"
Reflecting on the last time they met, whilst not coming away with the result, Gentle said the Blue and Gold have learnt plenty from their last encounter.
"The first 50 minutes there was enough there of what we need to do, not too many sides have put that many points on the Cowboys this season," Gentle said.
"There is enough to take out of that, even though we are disappointed with the result, there is enough to take out of that clash."
Kick off is at 7pm from 1300Smiles Stadium.