The Parramatta Eels take on the St. George Illawarra Dragons at ANZ Stadium this afternoon in Round 15 of the NRL Telstra Premiership.
Previewing the game thanks to betting.club, Blue & Gold Assistant Coach Steve Murphy expects a much improved performance by the Eels this week, against a dangerous Top Four Dragons outfit.
Reflecting on last week’s performance, Murphy says the side will put in a better defensive performance.
“Defensively, we got punished for a few real poor efforts. I thought for the majority of the game, defensively, we were okay it was just that we came up with a couple of bad decisions on the edges and they scored tries untouched which is really not like us,” Murphy said.
“You will see a better performance, certainly defensively this week.”
The Dragons will be without NSW Blues representatives Tyson Frizell and Josh Dugan, but Murphy knows the side still boasts plenty of dangers.
“They have been a Top Four team all season, and that doesn’t happen randomly. It happens because they are doing all the little things well,” Murphy said.
“They are collectively as a group, all working really hard for each other, there is plenty of offloads out of the back field, they run out of dummy half well, kick well and defensively they don’t give you much,” Murphy added.
“They are a quality football team as I said, you don’t end up in a Top Four position by chance, and they are doing a lot of little things well. It is not one individual we need to focus on, it’s the whole team.”
On the Eels, Murphy says the side will need to focus on putting in a complete and consistent 80 minute performance.
“We will need to kick well, control where we give them the football and build some pressure. We haven’t been doing that, we have been letting teams off the hook. We haven’t sustained any pressure for long periods in games and once we do that you will see better performances from us,” Murphy said.
“Our inconsistent performances have been our Achilles heel all year. We have played really well in patches in games and we have played really poorly as well.” He added.
“A consistent performance is what is required to build confidence and to good deeper into this competition which is what we want to do.”
Forward Daniel Alvaro will move into the starting side, a spot that has been rewarded due to consistent performances whilst halves Corey Norman and Mitch Moses will play their second game together.
“Alvaro has been very consistent and done a really good job for us and continues to do it weekly and he does it daily at training. We are happy for him and happy for his progress.” Murphy said.
“They have had two or three training sessions together so you don’t have to worry about that.” He said of Norman and Moses.
“You will see a better performance this week and a better performance the week after that so it’s a work in progress that’s for sure.”