Parramatta Eels centre Brad Takairangi is expecting the Blue & Gold to put in an improved performance this week against the New Zealand Warriors this week for their Round Six clash of the NRL Telstra Premiership.
Speaking ahead of the clash, the outside back remains confident that if the side can hold the ball and gain an even share of possession, they will be able to come away from the trip across the ditch with the two points.
The Eels’ possession and completion rates at crucial times have hurt them over the last three weeks.
“The Warriors are a good team but hopefully we can hold the ball and get 50/50 possession,” Takairangi said.
“We started the year very well, but the last few weeks we haven’t been up to scratch. We seem to not be able to hold the ball.”
“As long as we get a 50/50 share of possession, I honestly think we can beat any team and hopefully we can do that against the Warriors.”
“Our defence hasn’t been up to scratch and we have been working very hard on it. Brad is big on our defence, and he has been good on what we can do better and hopefully we can do that this week.” Takairnagi added.
“Hopefully we can get a win this week and get our season back on track.”
The Warriors are coming off a come from behind victory over the Gold Coast Titans last week, with former Eels Kieran Foran starring in his first game back on the field in almost 12 months, but Takairangi knows the side can’t just focus on the one player.
There needs to be a big focus on themselves.
“It is going to be a really good challenge for us. Coming off the back of three losses, it is important we go over there, do a really good job and hopefully get our season back on track,” Takairangi said.
“Knowing about Foz’s traits, we can’t just worry about one player. Obviously he does straighten their attack up and he is a tough player but hopefully we can hold the ball and do a job against them.”
“I expected nothing less from him [on last week’s performance]. He is a professional when it comes to footy.” He added.
The Eels take on the New Zealand Warriors at Mt Smart Stadium for Round Six of the NRL Telstra Premiership on Sunday 9 April. Kick off is at 4pm NZ local time (2pm AEST).