The Dyldam Parramatta Eels take on the Canberra Raiders at Pirtek Stadium for their final game of the 2015 season and as the Blue and Gold heads into the encounter, Head Coach Brad Arthur says the game will provide a good opportunity for his side to repay the Blue and Gold.
Coming off a loss to the Sharks at home last week, Arthur said it was up to his side to give the fans something to remember in Round 26.
“We need to repay our fans. The boys tried very hard last week and weren’t good enough to close it out but we need to give our fans something to remember throughout the pre-season and plenty of hope for 2016,” Arthur said.
With the Raiders also out of finals contention, Arthur expects a tough physical encounter in the middle of the field.
“They have a very good, strong, big, physical forward pack so obviously they like to cart it forward and make good metres so we need to be very good defensively and get our bodies in front,” Arthur said.
Looking back at the year, Arthur praised his winger Semi Radradra, who has scored twenty-two tries this year and sits atop the NRL Leading Try Scoring list heading into the final round of the competition.
Radradra enters the clash needing just one try to equal the Parramatta’s long-standing season try-scoring record held by Steve Ella. Set in 1982, Ella scored 23 tries in a season which culminated in Parramatta winning the premiership.
“Especially with the amount of games he has missed but I think it is also important to realise that a lot of his tries have been created by some very good lead up work from that left edge and they have formed a pretty good combination there in the last two years,” Arthur said of his winger.
“Corey, Manu, ‘Morgs’, we have had different centres in there throughout the year, and I am sure Semi is aware of that.”
“The really positive thing for Semi is that his whole game has improved, not just his try scoring, he is able to stop tries now and does a lot of work off the ball and talks a lot more now too.,” Arthur added.
Whilst still one game to go, Arthur reflected on his team’s attitude and performance throughout the year.
“There is still tomorrow to go, but what I have been really confident is coming to every game and know the boys are going to play with a bit of pride and passion,” Arthur said.
“We have got that pride and passion back in the jersey and now we need to learn how to win more often.”
And whilst the Eels will not feature in the 2015 Finals series, Arthur will look to coach his sons sides to victory in their respective competitions today and next week.
“We just had a win to go into the Grand Final in the thirteens next week against Cabramatta who are a strong team, but my other young boy plays in his Grand Final today against Wenty so he is pretty pumped.”
Gates at Pirtek Stadium open at 11:30am this Sunday with NRL kick off at 2pm. Under 20’s kick off at 11:45am.
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