Parramatta Eels forward Manu Ma’u is looking forward to the challenge up against a big Canberra Raiders forward pack.

Speaking ahead of the Round Five clash against the Raiders, Ma’u said the Eels are looking forward to the challenge and testing themselves as a forward pack.

“I am looking forward to that [the challenge of a big forward pack], especially coming up against Junior Paulo, one of the boys that was here last year. I am looking forward to that clash, and big Shannon Boyd, it will be big test for us middles.” Ma’u said.

“Playing against those big boys, it brings the best out of us. It just shows what kind of a forward pack we are.”

“I will probably text him (Junior Paulo) this week!” Ma’u joked.

The Eels have suffered defeats over the last two weeks to the Gold Coast Titans and Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks, and Ma’u said the side was trying to play too fancy, rather than getting back to what they had done well in the first two weeks.

“Obviously not holding the ball. We have been trying to play too fancy, not getting to our kicks and completing our sets, we haven’t been doing that and teams are taking advantage of that.” Ma’u said.

“We started off strong the first two weeks, and two lose the last two weeks has been pretty difficult and tough for us.” He added.

“Obviously we have to hold the ball, go forward and get to our kicks.”

Ma’u was sheepish about what Head Coach Brad Arthur had said to the players after the last two rounds.

“BA wants us to keep it simple and just go forward. That is our job as middles,” Ma’u said.

“BA has been okay… maybe just a little bit cranky.” He said with a grin.

The Eels kick off against the Raiders on Saturday 1 April at Canberra’s GIO Stadium at 5:30pm.