Dyldam Parramatta Eels Captain Tim Mannah says the Blue and Gold are determined to right the wrongs of 2014 as they head into the final games of the 2015 season.
Beginning with Sunday afternoon’s clash with the Sea Eagles, the Eels find themselves with the top eight just out of reach, taking on a team sitting ninth on the NRL Telstra Premiership ladder, with the potential to spoil their opposition’s finals hopes.
“The last couple of games [last season] really left a bitter taste in our mouths,” Mannah said.
“So it’d be nice to head into the break and the off-season with three good wins under our belt - that’s the goal, that’s the plan.”
“It’s an opportunity for us to ruin a couple of team’s seasons; it’s also an opportunity to represent yourself and the team the best you can, and we’ll be doing that this weekend.”
For the Blue and Gold skipper, 2015 has already seen him cross the stripe twice for two tries, and in some of the best form of his career to date. Mannah credits the performances to any number of factors, not least the strong performances his fellow Eels forwards.
“I think as a pack the forwards have performed really well this year,” Mannah said.
“They’ve held their own most of the season and I’m pretty proud of the way they’ve played. I think this has probably been my best season I’ve had in my career, but I can’t get too carried away looking at it now.”
“We’ve still got three more games to go and I really want to play the best I can in those games, then I’ll have a chance to look back at the season after that and look at improving next year and work on parts of my game thatI know I can better at.”
Standing between him and the final three games of the season is a knee injury picked up against the Roosters, that has seen him sitting out on fieldwork sessions during the week.
“It’s touch and go,” Mannah said.
“The scans showed some pretty bad bone bruising and it’s still pretty painful - I haven’t been able to run all week and I haven’t been running today either.”
Joining him on the sideline is hooked Nathan Peats, who played through to the 80th minute of last Saturday’s game, despite picking up a fracture to the C6 vertebra in his neck early in the second half.
“He was in a fair bit of pain the day after the game,” Mannah said.
“He’s obviously a tough character to get through what he did: he’s a competitor and he showed his toughness on the weekend.”
The Eels head into Sunday’s match up with one win over the Sea Eagles already under their belt for the season - back in Round 1 at Pirtek Stadium - but stinging from their 28-18 loss to the Sydney Roosters in Round 23.
“I don’t think they would have forgotten it,” Mannah said, looking back at the Round 1 result.
“But we can’t get too carried away. It’s about what we can control and how we play.”
“[The past is] behind us now we’ve got to focus on the upcoming game against Manly. They’re playing great footy, they’re a quality team.”
The Eels kick off against the Sea Eagles at 4pm on Sunday, August 23, at Brookvale Oval.