The Dyldam Parramatta Eels suffered a 34-24 defeat to the top of the table Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks on Saturday night, Round 17 of the NRL Telstra Premiership, however Blue and Gold fullback Michael Gordon says the loss will not affect the way the side prepares for the remainder of the competition.
Gordon said whilst it was disappointing to not come away with the two points on the weekend, there were plenty of positives still to take away from the clash.
“We are obviously disappointed, but we give credit to Cronulla,” Gordon said.
“They are a really good team and we are not far off where we want to be, we just need to fix a few little things.”
“Our lost opportunities, we didn’t throw enough at them in attack. We were off in certain areas where we have been really good, and they made us pay for it.”
“We were sitting equal third going into the game, so we are one of the top teams too. I don’t think people are giving us any credit at all,” Gordon added.
“We have had the second best defence in the league, which is no mean feat, so I am pretty happy with where we are at. There are a few things we need to fix in our game but I think we have been going really well.”
With media speculating that the Eels shot at the Finals was all but over, Gordon said he and the rest of the Eels side were preparing for Friday night’s clash against the Sydney Roosters like any other week.
“Personally my mindset hasn’t changed, I go in to every week wanting to win and that’s what ill do again this week. I can’t control anything else so I will just prepare as normal,” Gordon said.
“We have always had belief, and nothing will change until the end of the season.”
“We will keep preparing to win and we have been playing good footy all year so I don’t see why that will change.”
“There are a lot of teams that really need to kick start their season but we are happy with how we are going. Obviously disappointed on the weekend, but we will prepare this week as normal. They are a good team and we need to prepare well for them.” Gordon added.
However one of the shining lights from Saturday’s clash was young winger Bevan French, who crossed for three tries on the night, taking his tally to seven tries from just four NRL games.
Gordon had nothing but praise for the 20 year old winger.
“Bevan is a freak. He has a big career ahead of him and he showed some lighting feet and some good skill out there,” Gordon said.
“He has a few things to work on but he has all the makings of a great player.”
“He is a natural kid, has all the talent, all the speed and all the gifts right in front of him so it is up to him what he does with it now.” Gordon added.
And whilst French spoke with other media outlets after Saturday’s clash about learning from Gordon, the experienced fullback said French’s start in the NRL was not surprising.
“I am probably trying to get tips off him because he has all skill! Give me a bit of that speed and I will be happy!” Gordon said.
“I am always happy to talk to him but he has a pretty good head on his shoulders and he doesn’t need much advice from me.”
“I am not surprised at all. We trained the full pre-season with him, and he showed good signs there and at the Nines as well, and when you have good ball players like Normy inside him, and class players around him, it will always give him an opportunity and he has shown if you give him a bit of space he will take it.” Gordon added.
The Dyldam Parramatta Eels take on the Sydney Roosters at Pirtek Stadium on Friday 8 July, kick off at 7:50pm.