Parramatta Eels Head Coach Brad Arthur is confident in Corey Norman’s return from injury ahead of the Eels' Round 14 clash against the North Queensland Cowboys at Darwin’s TIO Stadium on Saturday 10 June.
The Eels arrived in the Top End, their home away from home earlier in the week, and Arthur said the time away was a good opportunity for the side to focus purely on the clash ahead.
“We had a good session on Wednesday, out on the stadium, and it was a real nice surface.
“We have come up here the last couple of times, off the back of a couple of losses in a row so we have been pretty desperate. It’s just a good opportunity to get them away together and really narrow our focus down to football, and football only,” Arthur added.
“This time we come in different circumstances, off the back of a few wins and a bit of confidence, and the return of Normy also helps as well.”
Speaking ahead of the Blue & Gold’s Captain’s Run training session, Arthur said Norman would play alongside Mitch, providing he gets through the session.
However the combination is still in it’s early stages, and they will only continue to improve as time progresses.
“Normy and Mitch had their first proper hit out the other day and they looked okay,” Arthur said.
“It is going to take some time. Today is their second session and they are going into a game with only two sessions together so they will be a little disjointed at times but they will play with plenty of energy and I am sure at some stage they will link together and look like they have been together for a while.”
“But it will take a bit of time, and hopefully we just improve week to week with them.” Arthur added.
“We need a good preseason heading into 2018 to get it right but at the moment, instinct and a lot of energy will get them through.”
If Norman is to play alongside Moses, it will see a reshuffled backline with in-form Clint Gutherson set to shift positions.
“Get through today, and we [Arthur] are confident he will play,” Arthur said.
“Gutherson could end up in the centres, we just have to see how he [Norman] gets through training.”
“They are all footballers, and at the end of the day, you pick your best 17 and they will do the same job.” He added.
The Eels are coming off a physical and gutsy victory over the New Zealand Warriors last week, and Arthur is hoping to take that ‘character building win’ into this week against the Cowboys.
“We have worked hard and because of the hard work and physicality of how we play the game, we do get a few injuries, and a lot of players have been playing busted for the last month,” Arthur said.
“Last weekend, as a result of that, we had to make several changes and had a few players missing at the end of the game so it was a real character building win for us.”
“We just have to make sure we make the most of that and play well this weekend.”
The Eels kick off against the North Queensland Cowboys at Darwin’s TIO Stadium on Saturday 10 June for Round 10 of the NRL Telstra Premiership. Kick off at 7pm.