Dyldam Parramatta Eels second-rower David Gower says the Blue and Gold are looking to remain focused on what they can control, which is putting in their best efforts on the football field, despite the many off-field dramas surrounding the club. 

The Eels take on the Sydney Roosters this Friday night (8 July) at Pirtek Stadium for Round 18 of the NRL Telstra Premiership, and Gower paid credit to Head Coach Brad Arthur for the side’s preparation leading into the clash.

“As far as the stuff we can control, and Brad’s been big on this, is when we turn up to training and when we put the shirt on,” Gower said.

“That’s the only thing we can control at the moment and that’s playing well and preparing well to play each week.” 

“I think we have done a relatively good job at that so far this year,” Gower added.

“I think there are nine games to go and for us we need to be pretty competitive in all nine, so that’s our main focus.”

Gower believes the significant 100th NRL game milestone of Blue and Gold teammate Danny Wicks will add extra importance to the clash with the hopeful of coming away with the two points in honour of celebrating a teammate that the Dyldam Parramatta Eels are very proud of. 

“It’s a big thing for him to play one hundred games,” Gower said of Wicks.

“To stay at it, and to have five years out, and come back and be successful, it’s a massive achievement for him and we’re very proud of him” Gower added. 

“We’re going to make a big point of going out there and playing well for him this weekend and hopefully we can get the win for him and also for us, the club and our fans.” Gower added.

The side will welcome the return of Jeff Robson who will play alongside Corey Norman for the first time since returning to the club.

“He [Jeff Robson] is obviously a very experienced guy and if Brad [Arthur] gives him the nod, he is going to bring that element of experience to us and he’s probably going to free Corey [Norman] up a little bit,” Gower said earlier in the week.

“I think he [Norman] has had to probably take complete control the last month/six weeks since Foz [Kieran Foran] got hurt and I think it’s going to allow Normy [Norman] to play his more natural game.” 

Along with the return of Robson to the Blue and Gold, Gower was looking forward to the return of prop and Club Captain Tim Mannah.

“I think he [Mannah] has only played three of four games this year so he is feeling fresh and his ready to go.” 

“Timmy [Mannah] leads from the front by his actions so we’re looking forward to him getting out there and ripping in for us on Friday night.” 

The Dyldam Parramatta Eels take on the Sydney Roosters at Pirtek Stadium on Friday 8 July, kick off at 7:50pm. Click here for all the Round 18 Game Day Info.