The Dyldam Parramatta Eels have come away with a 20-16 Round Two victory over the North Queensland Cowboys, and young forward Tepai Moeroa credited the Blue and Gold defence to the two points.
After suffering a 4-17 loss to the Brisbane Broncos in Round One, Moeroa was pleased to show the Blue and Gold Army, and himself, the hard work that the side had put in during the pre-season.
“We gained a lot of confidence in that win, especially in our defence,” Moeroa said.
“We won that game on the back of our defence and it was good to come back from that game against the Broncos. We were loose around the ruck and they steamrolled us and we were able to improve there.” Moeroa added.
“Against the Broncos we didn’t show all the hard work we put in through the pre-season so we just wanted to show the fans and ourselves that we did work hard and I’m sure it did show against the Cowboys”
The challenge for the Blue and Gold this week are the in-form Canterbury Bankstown Bulldogs, and Moeroa says it was up to the side to see whether they could rise to the occasion.
“Bulldogs are always known for being aggressive and they are a tough pack so it will be a challenge for us to see how we go back to back and if we can rise to the challenge again,” Moeroa said.
“They are one of the benchmarks. There are a lot of great forward packs in the comp but we just have to worry about taking it week by week and hopefully win that challenge in the middle.”
After a pre-season injury to experienced forward Anthony Watmough, Moeroa has played the opening two rounds at lock.
With the reduced interchange rules implemented this year, Moeroa has been pushing himself to the limit.
“I actually didn’t think when the rules came through that it would be a big difference but when you actually play, you notice it!” Moeroa said.
“It is only two changes but you notice it. You are out there for longer than you can possibly be and you are more tired and fatigued.”
“I just try and push out the first 40minutes, where we are able to only use three interchanges which gives us some good fire for the second half,” Moeroa added.
The Eels take on the Bulldogs this Friday night at ANZ Stadium. Kick off at 8pm.