The Dyldam Parramatta Eels will take on the Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs at ANZ Stadium tonight (Friday 18 March), looking for back to back wins after defeating the North Queensland Cowboys last week.
Previewing the game thanks to betting.club, Blue and Gold Assistant Coach Pete Gentle says the side can expect the challenge up front to go a long way in determining the game.
"We will defintely need that defensive effort again, and probably need to be better in a couple of areas too," Gentle said.
"Against arguably the bigget forward packs in the competition, we need to be on the job."
"It will be a good battle, we have spoken about it, and we have done pretty well in the middle the last couple of weeks so another challenge this week that the boys are looking forward to."
"Their forwards play infront of their halves, so the first point of contact will be their forwards so we are well aware of that."
The Bulldogs have started their season with two victories over the Manly Warringah Sea Eagles and Penrith Panthers, and former Blue and Gold outside back Will Hopoate has featured heavily in their two wins thus far this season.
Gentle knows the Blue and Gold will need to be prepared to stop the former Eel.
"Will is playing a different role in attack with the Bulldogs than the way he did with us. He has been sitting behind the ruck there, waiting for that inside ball of his forwards." Gentle said.
"We have done a lot of work on that so we welcome him to come through our middle if he wants!"
"He is playing a different role, not that natural fullback sweep role that a lot of fullbacks are playing, so we have done a fair of work and we will be ready for it."
For the Blue and Gold, Head Coach Brad Arthur has made two changes to his side, with hooker Isaac De Gois and forward David Gower replacing the injured Nathan Peats and suspended Manu Ma'u.
Gower has been named on a bench that will bring plenty of energy to the side.
"Isaac and Peatsy play a very similar role so we don't lose anything there. With Gowie coming in, it just brings a little bit more experience and a little bit of footy coming off the bench." Gentle said.
"Peni and Kaysa, they bring a lot of energy off the bench. And Wicksy as well. We are pretty happy with what they are doing when they are coming on." Gentle added.
Kick off is at 8:05pm with the game shown live on Channel 9 and FOX Sports.
Note, Blue and Gold Eels Ticketed Members with access to ANZ Stadium matches have not been forgotten and will enjoy reciprocal member rights for this game.
Full-season reserved seat and GA Members will also receive reciprocal entry to our Round 4 Easter Monday game against the Wests Tigers at ANZ Stadium. Click here for more details.
Please note, pre-book parking at P1 in Sydney Olympic Park is now full. Avoid the hassle and take public transport, which is included in your ticket, to the game. For more information on public transport, click here.