Dyldam Parramatta Eels winger Clinton Gutherson says the Blue and Gold will need to be prepared to take on a dangerous Penrith Panthers outfit this Sunday night, when the side heads to Pepper Stadium for Round 19 of the NRL Telstra Premiership.
With the Eels being deducted 12 competition points earlier in the week due to the NRL imposed penalty from its investigation into salary cap breaches, Gutherson says the Blue and Gold will be even more determined to claim the two points this week.
“Now that we have lost the points, we know what we have to do to make the eight and we will soon see if we can,” Gutherson said.
“We will take it week by week, keep turning it over and keep getting the points where we need to.”
“We know that up against Penrith we have to turn up ready to go. They are a pretty good team who can really offer up anything and we need to be ready,” Gutherson added.
“They could put 60-70 points on you but our goal will be to turn up as usual, ready to play.”
“We believe we are going to win and we are ready to go. We had a bit of time off to freshen up, get away from it all but we are raring to go.”
Despite their position on the ladder, Gutherson says that the is still plenty of confidence brimming in the Blue and Gold side.
In last week’s clash against the Sydney Roosters, after losing Semi Radradra and Issac De Gois through injury in the opening 10 minutes, Gutherson said the side were confident they could come away with the two points, despite trailing by two converted tries heading into the final 20 minutes.
“You always know looking next to you, that the person there is going to be working hard for you,” Gutherson said.
“We built that throughout the pre-season, and at the start of the pre-season as well, so when we lost two early injuries with Semi and Goisy going down, we knew we could still do it with 20 minutes to go even though we were down by two tries, we knew we could win.”
And despite the loss of points, Gutherson says the side’s goal of playing Finals football has not changed.
“Our goal at the start of the season was to be playing in October and that still is our goal,” Gutherson said.
“We aren’t giving up hope, not until Round 26 when we know whether we are or aren’t playing. We will give it our all, that’s what we have built here, and that’s what we will keep giving.”
And with the Eels facing several other off-field distractions this week, Gutherson said it was no different to the past few months, confirming it had not affected the sides’s preparation to take on the Panthers.
“We have been dealing with it for the whole season really, we have been on the back page most of the year but we have been able to block it out and continue to win games all season,” Gutherson said.
“We will keep going along the way we are, keep preparing like we are and hopefully keep turning up with wins.”
“It makes it a bit more sweet to win. With all of you guys hanging around training, we just want to get out there on the field, block it all out, and put in a good performance not only for us as a group, but all the fans that are sticking by us as well,” Gutherson added.