Dyldam Parramatta Eels halfback Kieran Foran says his return to Brookvale Oval on Thursday night was a real dogfight and one that the Eels can take plenty of pride and self belief from.
Taking on his old side for the first time since joining the Blue and Gold, Foran said the Sea Eagles turn up physically and put the Eels under a lot of pressure early.
Hoever it was the defensive effort from the Blue and Gold that set up the two points.
“It was a real dogfight there for 70 minutes. We were in a hell of a match with them and they really turned up physically,” Foran told Big Sports Breakfast.
“I think they managed to dominate the ruck speed and really march us up the field and put us under a lot of pressure but at halftime we spoke about weathering the storm and sticking to what we know."
However it was a period of the game, just after half time, that gave the Eels belief and confidence that they were going to come away with the win.
With the scores 8-8, the Eels defended multiple sets on their line before finally the home side opted to take a penalty goal and extend their lead by two.
“That period just after half time, we had to defend 7-8 sets on our line and that was spoken about afterwards,” Foran said.
“That’s something that is just building self belief and we are just growing with more and more confidence each time we get out there on the field with one another.”
“We were prepared that Manly we’re going to come hard but I think they really did out-enthuse us and we were just caught on the back foot for the first 40 mins.” Foran added.
The self belief and desire to defend was epitomized by fellow new recruit, Beau Scott, who is renowned for his approach to defence.
As Sea Eagles winger Tom Trbojevic scooped up a loose ball to run 80m down field, Blue and Gold winger Semi Radradra failed to run down the speedster, but Scott had mustered every bit of energy to make a try saving tackle.
“That was one of the great chase downs,” Foran said.
“I know we talk about Beau Scott and what he adds to our side, but that just shows how crucial he is to our team and what he means to everyone. “
“For him to make that extra effort, when we had already been defending our backsides off, to not give up on that chase and turn the ball over when he tackled Trbojevic, that really inspired everyone and everyone lifted from that point.”
The Eels will take every bit of that confidence into the Round Eight clash against the North Queensland Cowboys.
Making their first trip out of Sydney, Foran said a few days off before the clash against the second placed Cowboys will be a good test.
“We will be back into it on Monday to prepare ourselves to head to North Queensland to face the Cowboys.” Foran said.
“It will be a big one but nice that we have a few days to rest up.”
“We have played quite a few games at Pirtek which has been nice to start the year but we will get on the road now and have a few away games and hopefully keep the form going and keep building week to week and rack up the wins” Foran added.
The Eels Round Eight clash against the North Queensland Cowboys is at 1300SMILES Stadium on Saturday 23 April.