Dyldam Parramatta Eels forward David Gower says he expects the Penrith Panthers will be ready to fire when the sides come together for the Battle of the West at Pirtek Stadium this Sunday, April 3.
The Round 4 encounter is set to see Matt Moylan return to the Panthers side from injury, which Gower says is already very strong.
“They’ve been competitive the last month and I think with Matt Moylan named - and if he plays - they’ll be better again,” Gower said.
“With the Battle of the West, there’s always a bit extra in it, so if we can get 20,000 Parramatta lunatics there it’ll be fantastic.”
Gower said the Panthers are leading the NRL in some key statistics, which means they’ll be tough to handle.
“They’re going to keep us on our toes; they’re leading the competition in offloads so far this year, and when you’ve got to double defend that takes a toll on you physically,” Gower said.
“That’s why ball control for us this week is going to be huge, and we just have to keep turning up for each other and stay in the line and stick to our structure and try to win our contacts and try and minimise their offloads.”
After Round 4’s tough defensive efforts to keep the Wests Tigers scoreless, Gower says the Eels are now looking to build on their attacking structures.
“We’ve had to be impressive defensively because offensively we haven’t ben crash-hot; we’re not completing well enough and our attack isn’t flowing quite as nicely as we would have liked,” he said.
“So we’re having to defend and scramble and keep turning up for each other, and we’re doing that at the moment, so if we can keep that mindset and attitude, we’re pretty confident.”
“Offensively, we’re confident that as the weeks tick by that Kieran and Corey [Norman] are going to get better in their combination and everyone is going to know their roles and it’s going to become a lot smoother for us.”
The Eels kick off against the Panthers in the final Battle of the West before the redevelopment of Pirtek Stadium at 4pm on Sunday, April 3. Family General Admission tickets are just $40*, click through to secure your seats!