The Dyldam Parramatta Eels have returned to the training paddock after the 20-16 victory over the North Queensland Cowboys at Pirtek Stadium, and Club Captain Tim Mannah has put down the victory to the Blue and Gold defensive effort.
Speaking with the media this morning, Mannah said that despite coming away with the two points, there were still plenty of improvement areas in the Blue and Gold.
“It was pleasing to come away with the result over the Cowboys, but we just watched the video then and there is plenty of things that we can get better at, Mannah said.
“That’s what we are going to do, focus on the things we can be better at and be better this week.”
“I thought the effort was really good and our defence and the effort for each other, the boys really worked hard. On our attack, there is a lot we can improve on, but that’s a good thing knowing we can still improve and get a lot better.” Mannah added.
With Eels halves Corey Norman and Kieran Foran playing their first NRL game together, Mannah urged the importance of not relying on the halves, but rather a consistent approach to their defence.
“Corey and Foz bring a lot to our team, but I thought what won us that game was our defence. Right across the park, everyone stood up on the weekend and that’s what we need on a weekly basis to go well,” Mannah said.
“It is nice for belief, but it’s Round Two and we want to make sure we are consistent and putting in performances like that every week.”
“We have set the bar where we want to put our effort and we want to make sure we just keep raising it every week.”
The challenge for the Blue and Gold this week comes in the form of the Canterbury Bankstown Bulldogs.
The Bulldogs have started their season with two wins over the Manly Warringah Sea Eagles and Penrith Panthers, and Mannah said the Eels middle would need to be ready to compete with a mammoth Bulldogs pack that have proved to handle the reduced interchange conditions.
“It’s a great rivalry that the two clubs have, and we want to go out there Friday night making sure we have prepared the best way we can and put in a performance we know we can put in,” Mannah said.
“I think the Bulldogs have proved a lot of people wrong. A lot of people thought they would struggle with the interchange with the big pack they have, but I think they have handled it better than any other team in the comp.”
“The forwards have churned out more quality minutes that any other team so far so it will be a real challenge for us in the middle of the park.”
“You have had to adapt to the new rules and the conditions on the field and they are a really dynamic pack with a lot of size, but also a lot of skill which adds another dimension.”
The Parramatta Eels take on the Bulldogs this Friday night at ANZ Stadium, kick off at 8pm.