Takairangi: Looking forward to a battle

Dyldam Parramatta Eels centre Brad Takairangi says the Blue and Gold haven’t lost their belief as they head to the Gold Coast to take on the Titans. 

The Round 20 match up sees the Eels come up against former hooker Nathan Peats, and Takairangi says the dummy half has reached a new level in his game since the Eels last faced the Titans in Darwin in Round 14.

“We’re looking forward to a good battle up there,” Takairangi said.

“I’ve actually told him myself that I thought his game has gone to a new level up there. I think he’s got a bit more freedom, and it’s showing with the way he’s playing.”

“We got ‘em last time so they’ll be coming back to try and get us back. The banter’s already started.”

The Blue and Gold are still smarting from a 22-18 loss to the Penrith Panthers that saw Clint Gutherson step into the five-eighth jersey to partner Jeff Robson in the halves. 

“[Robson] has been awesome, he’s been a really good addition,” Takairangi said.

“He’s an old head with a lot of experience, so he’s going to help ‘Gutho’ out there. He did a really good job last week, so hopefully they can do it again his week.”

“[Gutherson] is actually a really talented player. He’s been on the wing for most of the year but he got to show a bit of his ball skills on the weekend and he did a good job.”

“Obviously we were a bit disappointed that we lost last week, but the best thing about that is we can come back this week and get the win again. We’ve still got that hope there, that slight hope, that we can make it [to the finals]. I think if we can win 7 from 7 there’s a slight hope there.”

“I’m pretty disappointed in myself that I haven’t been out there helping the boys, so hopefully I can get out there and put a good performance in for the boys.”

Takairangi makes his return to the Eels side from a hamstring injury when they play the Gold Coast Titans on Saturday, July 23, at Cbus Super Stadium.