The Parramatta Eels take on the North Queensland Cowboys at 1300SMILES Stadium tonight (Friday 28 April) in Round Nine of the NRL Telstra Premiership.
Previewing the game thanks to betting.club, Blue & Gold Assistant Coach Steve Murphy says the side needs to put in a sustained 80 minute performance in both attack and defence against a quality North Queensland outfit.
“I thought there was a real intent and attitude with our defence last week that has been building, and we will need to back that up this week against another quality opponent in North Queensland,” Murphy said.
“As we have spoken about at length, we have been patchy in our performances. There has been long periods of time where we have been very good and there are also periods of time where we have been poor, both defensively and poor.”
“We are looking for an 80 minute performance this week, I know it’s cliché, but it is very important to us moving forward” he added.
The Cowboys are coming off a win last week, after suffering two defeats in the earlier two weeks, however Murphy expects the return of Thurston to be crucial in front of their home crowd.
“They were without Thurston for a couple of those results and we are expecting him to play this week, and that gives them a world champion. We will need to perform very well, but we have prepared as if he is playing, so we are looking forward to the best of the Cowboys this week,” Murphy said.
“We haven’t performed very well up here in the past, but no two NRL games are the same. We start nil all this week and I am sure we will give a good account of ourselves.” He added.
“We try not to talk about the result too much, it is all about getting what we need to get done over the course of 80 minutes and then look up and hopefully you are in front on the scoreboard,”
“For us it is real simple, we haven’t played sustained football to our potential and capabilities, and when we do that, you will see a very good football team.”
The Eels are coming off two victories and Murphy commented on fullback Clint Gutherso and forward Nathan Brown for their efforts over the last few weeks.
“Gutherson and Brown have both been outstanding,” Murphy said.
“Nathan has brought a real energy and enthusiasm to the place and Clint always plays that way.”
“They are both great young men, work very hard on their game and we are very fortunate to have players of that calibre in the club.”
The Eels kick off tonight against the North Queensland Cowboys at 1300SMILES Stadium at 7:50pm.