Dyldam Parramatta Eels winger Clint Gutherson is seeing the lighter side of facing his former teammates as the Blue and Gold take on the Manly Sea Eagles at Brookvale Oval on Thursday night.
Gutherson joined the Eels from the Sea Eagles in 2016, and says while the rivalry between the two sides - and their fans - is fierce, the players from both sides boast some good mates in enemy camp.
“It should be bit of fun,” Gutherson said of the lead up to the game.
“There will be a few texts going out throughout the week, just a bit of friendly banter, but I’m sure it will be a bit of fun going out there on Thursday night. I’ll search through my phone tonight and see whose number I like and I’ll just send a bit of friendly banter, but all in good fun.”
Gutherson expects plenty of noise directed at the Eels from the Brookvale faithful, with some of it sure to head the way of Parramatta Captain, Kieran Foran.
“I’m sure he will cop a bit of heat,” Gutherson said.
“I’m sure every time he plays against them from now on he will cop a bit of heat, but it comes with the game and I'm sure Foz will not even hear it. He won’t let anything disrupt him on the field, he’ll take it all in and so will all the team.”
Backing up from a resounding 36-6 win in Round 6, Gutherson is hopeful the Eels’ attack continues to fire, after the halves combination sparked six tries against the Canberra Raiders last Saturday night.
“[Kieran] had a bit of a disrupted pre-season and [he and Corey Norman] didn't get as much time [together] as they’d like but as the rounds keep rolling on they will keep getting better, and that was just a sign of things to come,” Gutherson said.
“They’ve also taken a bit extra time to gel [with a new combination and Daly Cherry-Evans’ injury,” he added of the Sea Eagles.
“‘Walks’ (Dylan Walker) was a five-eighth growing up so he’s just got to get back into that role and I'm sure they will be on Thursday night. And Api (Apisai Koroisau) has been one of their best players in the last two weeks, so we will have to keep an eye on both of them.”
The Eels take on the Manly Sea Eagles at Brookvale Oval on Thursday 14 April, kick off at 7:50pm.