Gower: Back against the wall

Dyldam Parraamtta Eels forward David Gower says the Blue and Gold will relish the ‘back against the wall’ mentality this week when the Eels take on the in-form Canberra Raiders at GIO Stadium on Sunday afternoon for Round 24 of the NRL Telstra Premiership.

Coming up against an opposition who are ‘coming off one of their best wins in the last few years’, Eels forward Gower believes the Blue and Gold have confidence in knowing they have the ability to match their opponents.

“We like it backs against the wall. We let ourselves down in that second half last week, and we will take a lot of confidence out of the first time we played Canberra knowing we have the ability to match them,” Gower said.

“They are coming off probably one of their best wins of their year or the best win in the last few years and they are playing with a lot of confidence and have a lot to play for.” Gower added.

“They will be playing infront of a loud and vocal home crowd but we are looking forward to going down there and having a big crack.”

After last week’s 38-16 defeat to the Brisbane Broncos, Gower says the Blue and Gold are holding themselves accountable to improve on last week’s performance and still have plenty of pride to play for.

“We have had a few things go wrong, but we pride ourselves on being accountable to each other and really never backing up a poor performance with another one.,” Gower said.

“The second half last week wasn’t up to our standards and we are really looking forward to going out there, making it up to each other, Brad, the coaching staff and our fans.”

“It is about pride in the performance, pride in the jersey and pride in playing in the game we love.” Gower added.

“We let each other down a little bit last week and we let our fans down so if we can go out there and make amends, that will go a big way to making sure we can build into the pre-season into next year.”

Returning to the Blue and Gold side this week is Eels winger Semi Radrdara, his first clash since being ruled out with a medial ligament injury, and Gower says the addition is a welcome inclusion to the side.

“Massive in. What he does out of the backfield of us is huge. I think it is an understated asset that he has and that he brings to our team,” Gower said of Radradra.

“Hitting him would be like trying to tackle a front rower at full speed so he definitely gets our set on the front foot.”

“For us middles, we don’t have to get back as far when he is bringing the ball back and he’s obviously a great finisher as well so we are really looking forward to the big fella being back.”

“He is an international, a very classy player. We have had a few injuries and a few distractions, but we are starting to get our boys back.”

The Eels kick off against the Canberra Raiders at Canberra’s GIO Stadium on Sunday 21 August, kick off at 2pm.