Dyldam Parramatta Eels centre Michael Jennings says the Blue and Gold are preparing for an imposing Wests Tigers side when they head to ANZ Stadium on Easter Monday.
The Tigers have notched two wins to date in the 2016 season, rolling the Warriors and Sea Eagles, before being defeated by the Gold Coast Titans in Round 3 at Cbus Super Stadium.
“They’ve been playing really well and it’s going to be a tough ask for us this weekend,” Jennings said.
“I think Woodsy (Aaron Woods) there and [James] Tedesco and a few of their boys are really stepping up, so I think for us it’s a big game on Easter Monday, it should be awesome.”
While fullback James Tedesco’s form to date has prompted talk of an Origin call up, hooker Robbie Farah also makes his return to the Wests Tigers line up after being sidelined with injury.
“He’s a natural,” Jennings said of Tedesco.
“He’s one of their go-to players, and I think a lot of stuff happens on the back of his efforts, and on the back of his freakish stuff. For us, shutting him down goes a long way to winning.”
“Watching a bit of footage of him, he’s just really difficult to tackle. He’s a player that’s really fast, and really strong, and I see him being in a Blues jumper very soon.”
“I was speaking to Robbie [Farah] last night,” Jennings added.
“I’ve never seen him so happy. I think he’s going to play some really good footy.”
“I think they’ve done a lot of work with getting enough ball to [Mitchell] Moses and [Luke] Brooks, and having Robbie there adds a lot of experience and calmness about moving their forwards around.”
“It takes a lot of pressure off their halves, and I think ti’ll complement their halves.”
Jennings move to Parramatta from the 2016 season onwards has seen him pair up with winger Semi Radradra on the Eels’ left edge, with the two putting on three tries between them in the Blue and Gold’s 20-6 win over the Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs in Round 3.
“I can’t Semi enough for the freakish effort,” Jennings said of his winger’s try assist.
“It’s just good to be on the board. He’s a natural athlete, so for me it’s worrying about my game and he’ll do the rest. Just give him some ball and let him do his thing.”
The Blue and Gold halves combination will have just third 80-minute appearance together in the Round 4 clash, and Jennings says the balance of Kieran Foran and Corey Norman is gradually finding its feet.
“They’re both different [style of] players, which really works,” Jennings said.
“Foz can take a lot of pressure of Normy, he is really calm and collected which is good for Normy. And to have that combination with the halves, especially for me, makes my job a lot easier.”
“All the boys are upbeat, they’re at training working really hard: they want that success and I think they deserve that success.”
The Eels kick off their Easter Monday clash against the Wests Tigers at 4pm on Monday, March 28, with full-season ticketed Eels Members receiving reciprocal entry rights. Click through to find out more!