The Dyldam Parramatta Eels take on the Sydney Roosters tonight at Allianz Stadium for their Round 23 clash, and Assistant Coach Pete Gentle says the Blue and Gold says the side will enter the encounter against the in-form tricolours ready to cause an upset.
With the Roosters winning their past eight games, Gentle says the Blue and Gold will have to be very good in the middle of the park against a formidable forward pack.
“It’s been a tough 3 weeks, 3 away games North Queensland, Gold Coast and then up to Darwin. We’ve been very conscious of managing their load this week, the Strength and Conditioning staff have done a great job and we’re good to go.” Gentle said looking ahead to the clash.
The Eels are coming off a win against the Panthers and will be looking to cause an upset tonight.
“They're a pretty fair side. Decent forward pack, some pretty handy backs and very few injuries,” Gentle said of the Roosters.
“It’s going to be a tough game but we’re going out there with the attitude we can cause an upset.”
“I think we have to sure up the middle first, they're very good at putting a dent in you and then going quick to the edges so we need to be very good in the middle of the park because that’s where it all starts so that’s a priority for us.”
With Eels centre Brad Takairangi ruled out through injury earlier in the week, Head Coach Brad Arthur confirmed Vai Toutai will be recalled into the side, a job he is looking forward to.
“He got an opportunity against Gold Coast and he didn't let anyone down so its good for him to get another game,” Gentle said of Toutai’s recall.
“Unfortunately it’s because Brad Takairangi is out but he won’t let anyone down, I know he's itching go again so good luck to him.”
The Blue and Gold will also have extra motivation tonight with the squad eager to put in a special effort for Isaac De Gois, a popular member of the squad who will be celebrating his 200th NRL game.
“They’re excited and we've spoken about it all week to and he deserves to have a special effort put in for him.”
Kick off from Allianz Stadium is at 7.30pm.