The Dyldam Parramatta Eels take on the Cronulla Sharks at Pirtek Stadium this Saturday (29 August) for their Round 25 clash and having not played at the Blue and Gold home ground since Round 16, Eels forward Junior Paulo says the side is looking forward to returning to a vocal Blue and Gold Army and giving back to the loyal supporters.
The Sharks have won six of their last seven games and Paulo knows their opposition will prove another tough contest, however will take confidence over their win over the Sea Eagles last week.
“I guess they are a team that find a way to win, and they have had a lot of tough wins, so we have to go on the back of our win and see if we can continue that momentum going into the last two games,” Paulo said.
“Especially being back at home, we owe something to the fans and it’s good to play at home as well.”
The Sharks boast an experienced forward pack, with Chris Heighington, Michael Ennis, Luke Lewis along with their instrumental captain Paul Gallen, however Paulo said that the young forward pack of the Blue and Gold will be ready for the challenge.
“It is going to be tough. They have Gallen, leading them, who has been leading them the whole year, so we have to match it with them and their forwards as well,” Paulo said.
“There is a lot of experience coming out of their team,” Paulo added.
“We are a young team but our middle is a strong point for us so we will be looking to carry that into this week.”
With Paulo cleared earlier in the week to play in the Round 25 clash, after entering an early guilty plea to a Grade One Dangerous Contact charge, the forward was looking forward to repaying the Blue and Gold army back at home.
“It has been a while, and we will be hoping to get a big crowd out there especially on a Saturday afternoon so it will be good for us. It is always good coming home to Parramatta’s Pirtek Stadium,” Paulo said.
“Hopefully we can give them the performance they deserve,” Paulo added.
“They have been behind us through thick and thin, especially with an up and down year, so we are hoping to give something back to them.”
The annual fixture honours former Eels and Sharks player Jon Mannah, and supports the work of the Mannah Foundation, assisting young people from all walks of life.
We are excited to put on a huge day of all three grades of footy at Parramatta’s Pirtek Stadium, so please join us as we #celebratejohnny!
Gates open at 10:30am with the NYC kick off at 10:40am, NSW Cup 12:40pm kick off and NRL kickoff at 3pm.