Dyldam Parramatta Eels hooker Nathan Peats is preparing for a tough slog at Brookvale Oval on Thursday night in just his second game back since dislocating his elbow in the Eels’ Round 2 win over the North Queensland Cowboys.

The Blue and Gold number 9 says while he has good mates at the Sea Eagles, he will be expecting a decidedly unfriendly reception on the field in the two side’s Round 7 match up. 

“Darce (Darcy Lussick) is a real good mate of mine, he’s a good fella,” Peats said.

“Obviously I’m good mates with Starlo (Josh Starling) too, but it should be a good battle up the middle this weekend.”

“They’ve got quite a big forward pack and our pack is going alright at the moment, too. It’s always hard going to Manly and playing at their fortress they have there, and we’ve both come off five day turnarounds;  it’s going to be another tough slog this weekend.”

For the Blue and Gold, their thumping 36-6 win over the Canberra Raiders was a step up in attack, but Peats says the Eels are clear on where they need to improve. 

“We had a fair bit of ball so that probably helped the lungs a little,” Peats said of his return to the field.

“But not every week is going to be like that [win]. To only let 6 points in was a pretty good defensive effort, but there’s still a lot of things to improve on; at times we lapsed there a little bit in the second half.”

The Eels kick off against the Sea Eagles on Thursday, April 14, at Brookvale Oval at 7.50pm.