The Parramatta Eels take on the Sydney Roosters at Allianz Stadium on Sunday 14 May for Round 10 of the NRL Telstra Premiership.
Previewing the game thanks to betting.club, Blue & Gold Assistant Coach Pete Gentle says today’s clash against a dangerous Roosters outfit will be determined by controlling the game speed and middle of the ruck.
“I still think they are one of the top teams. They have a very good forward pack, with plenty of representative honours coming up with the Australian and State of Origin sides, so they have plenty of good forwards there.” Gentle said.
“Their forward pack allows their halves to play off the front foot. They like to play very fast off the back of them so a big job for our middle this week to slow the play the balls down and slow their ruck speed down.”
“It gives you a chance to defend the likes of Pearce and Keary coming at you on the back foot, because we can’t have that happening. We need to be very solid in the middle and it’s probably where the game will be won.” He added.
Despite coming in fresh off the representative round, Gentle says the side is not looking too much into their own recent form, knowing they have to be more focused on the job at hand.
“It has been good the Rep Round. For the blokes that didn’t play it freshened them up but also for the blokes that did play, it’s great for them to get away, play in a different atmosphere and a different environment.
They have come back fresh and now looking forward to today. They have had a good turn out to today’s game and our preparations are spot on.”
“It gives you a confidence boost [with three wins in a row], but you don’t look in the rear view mirror to often to see what we have been doing. It is very important the way the table is, that the teams that are playing each other this week, it’s important to get the two points. We are probably more focused on that.”
The Eels will again see Will Smith partner Corey Norman in the halves, and Gentle expects the five-eighth to improve with more game time.
“He is coming off a horrific injury too, played three games in reserve grade before being very good against the Cowboys for us,” Gentle said.
“We are expecting him to get better each week. He doesn’t leave any stone unturned, his preparation is meticulous and he is very good to work with.”
The Eels kick off against the Sydney Roosters this afternoon at Allianz Stadium, kick off at 4pm.