The Dyldam Parramatta Eels take on the Canberra Raiders this afternoon at Pirtek Stadium (Saturday 9 April, kick off at 3pm) and Blue and Gold Assistant Coach Steve Murphy says the side must be ready to take on a dangerous Raiders outfit that has started the year well.
Previewing the game thanks to betting.club, Murphy says the Blue and Gold will need to repeat their strong defensive performance show so far this year, this week.
“They are playing extremely well, one draw and one loss to start the year, and they have been putting teams away.,” Murphy said of the opposition.
“They roll down the field easily and off the back of that have a great kicking game. Aiden Sezer is a quality left foot kicker at the back end of sets and Hodgson out of dummy half is causing a lot of teams some problems, so we will have to be really good defensively this week.”
Backing up from a strong performance against the Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs last week, where the Raiders forwards outmuscled a much larger pack, Murphy says the Eels men in the middle will need to be prepared the meet their forwards head on.
“Their forwards get their metres really easily and off the back of a great kicking game, they dominate field position really easily for long periods of time,” Murphy said.
“We will have to dominate field position and have a high completion rate and hopefully put them under a bit of pressure with the ball.”
“I thought they really took it to the Bulldogs pack and won that battle in the middle of the field really easily. We will have to meet them head on, and if we don’t, we will be in for a tough afternoon.” Murphy added.
And along with the halves pairing of Blake Austin and Aiden Sezer, hooker Josh Hodgson has started the year well for the Green Machine and will prove a handful.
The hooker has been a stand out for the Raiders, and was the man to break the deadlock in last year’s golden point thriller, where the Raiders took out the two points in the last time these two sides met.
“Hodgson is a real quality player who picks off the defensive line and if a person is lazy at marker, he certainly finds them out so our discipline will have to be very good,” Murphy said.
“They have threats all over the park but we are confident if we stop them going forward we will give ourselves every opportunity with the ball.”
The Eels kick off against the Canberra Raiders at 3pm on Saturday, April 9, at Pirtek Stadium as part of a triple-header of footy, with the match shown live on Fox Sports 1.
Family general admission passes are just $40*, click through to secure your seats as we celebrate Territory Day in Parramatta!