The Parramatta Eels take on the North Queensland Cowboys at Darwin’s TIO Stadium on Saturday 10 June for Round 14 of the NRL Telstra Premiership.
Speaking to Big Sports Breakfast this morning (Wednesday 7 June), Blue & Gold half Clint Gutherson has been enjoying his time in the halves alongside Mitch Moses, whilst Corey Norman has sat on the sideline injured.
“I’m enjoying it, just taking it a week at a time and trying to do my best for the team. At the moment I’m in the six, as I said I’m just enjoying it, enjoying my time in the six,” Gutherson said.
“Were still not sure on Norm he’s coming up with us to Darwin. I don’t think the physios and staff have made a decision on him, were hoping he can play, we’ll give him up until the last second, so were still hoping,” Norman added.
“I told him to jump in the Wenty jersey this week!” Gutherson joked.
Gutherson has played alongside teammate Mitch Moses for the last three weeks, and he has enjoyed his time linking up and combining with his former teammate.
“Mitchy’s come across from Tigers a couple of weeks ago and I’ve played with him before so I sort of knew what he brings and how he plays the game,” Gutherson said.
“Everyone getting used to him was a new step, each session and each game is a massive help for us as a team and Mitchy as his own player. We’re enjoying and as you can see he’s getting better every week and his going to start filling his role perfectly. Everyone can’t wait til he reaches his full potential.”
“Just school footy and I’ve always versed him in matches and stuff like that, I’ve known him for ages so it’s good to get him across.” Gutherson added.
If Norman is to return to the Eels line up this week, Blue & Gold Head Coach Brad Arthur will be faced with a dilemma in fitting in the in-form and fan favourite Gutherson to the Blue & Gold line up.
However whatever number is on Gutherson’s back does not phase him.
“I do enjoy it in the halves, at the start of the year I knew that if a half was coming there, there could be a chance that I could be playing somewhere else. So it’s not really a surprise to me at the moment, if Normy does play I’ll just have to find a different position in the team.” Gutherson said.
“And I said this in an interview the other day, “I don’t really look at the number on my back, I’ll just roam around the field and do my part for the team and just get my hands on the ball. So I’m looking forward to just hopefully getting Norms back this week and then just trying to find my a role for me in the team somewhere else.”
“I do like full back, I like getting my hands on the ball and run around. As you said there’s no real position in the middle there you sort of just go everywhere. There’s no halves on one side or anything like that. I’ll play anywhere, I just like playing the game and doing my part for the team.” Gutherson added.
Gutherson is in arguably the best form of his career, and after an injury plagued few years before joining the Eels, he looks back at the few years on the sidelines positively.
“I think it just took a bit of getting confident again, it took me a while to get back into it, and it’s just getting trust back in the knee and back into what you know can do,” Gutherson said.
“It took me maybe probably half the year last year to sort of get that confidence back. I knew it’d take a while, but I knew if I could get back and just play the footy I wanted to, I always knew that I could do it. I’m back to full confidence in the knee and in my game.”
Brad Arthur played a big part in signing Gutherson, and the football had plenty of praise for the Head Coach.
“He just seems to get the best out of every one, he’s always full on, but I think that’s a good thing, he’s always trying to push you to your best and help you get the best out of everyone.” Gutherson said.
“He’s a full on bloke but he’s working hard, he work hard, he works harder than us I don’t think he ever sleeps. He watches game footage on, I don’t know what he watches, and he watches games all around the world. He’s just looking to get the best out of you and as a team in general.”
And as the Eels prepare to take on the Cowboys this week, Gutherson said this clash along with the next few weeks are a real important part of the Eels season.
“We spoke about it the other day, we are sort of a bit lower than where we wanted to be, but we are in a spot now where we can sort of, the next couple of weeks and leading into a couple of byes we can sort of secure a spot.” Gutherson said.
“We’re looking at this period in the next 4-6 weeks as a massive part where we can secure a spot in the eight and even work our way up into the top four.”
“We’ve looked at this as a block where we need to really put our heads down and really tear in.”
Kick off at Darwin’s TIO Stadium against the North Queensland Cowboys on Saturday 10 June is at 7pm.