The Parramatta Eels take on the St. George Illawarra Dragons in Round Two of the 2017 NRL Telstra Premiership.
Previewing the game thanks to betting.club, Blue & Gold Assistant Coach Pete Gentle says the Eels will look to continue with their aggressive style of defence in attempt to negate a big Dragons forward pack that is receiving plenty of praise.
“The Dragons were solid and their forward pack was very good. They rolled through quite a number of metres,” Gentle said.
“Penrith were a bit passive and we are a lot more aggressive in our defence than what Penrith showed.
“We are expecting them to come up with a couple of trick shots, maybe a kick in behind, hitting a couple of lead runners, but we wont change what we do.” Gentle added.
“We are looking forward to the challenge. “
“We showed last week how physical our forwards can be, and even Jenko and Takas on the edge were quite aggressive as well so we are looking forward to going after a big pack that got a fair few plaudits this week.”
Whilst the coaches were pleased with the Eels first up performance, the Assistant Coach knows the Blue & Gold attack, in particular it’s spine, will only improve over time.
“It was a good with a lot of encouraging signs. It was the first time that Normy and Gutho played in the halves and really the first time that combination as a spine with Bevan and Kaysa all played together,” Gentle said.
“There were some encouraging signs, it’s a work in progress and it will get better and we are looking forward to seeing it improve this week.”
“They managed the game pretty well last week, are learning each others game and they managed that role pretty well.” Gentle added.
“Gutho rolled around to play with Normy a couple of times and Normy rolled around too, so those little combinations, along with Bevan knowing where to turn up, but the more time they spend with each other on the field, it is going to improve.”
Eels forward Frank Pritchard will play in his 250th NRL game tonight, and Gentle said it was a real luxury to have somebody of his calibre and experience on the bench.
“Game to game will be different,” Gentle said of Frank’s game time.
“There will obviously be times where we want to get him on before half time, but it’s a luxury to have somebody like that on the bench.”
“We can pick and choose when we put him on but that will change week to week.”
The Eels kick off against the Dragons at WIN Stadium tonight at 6:30pm.