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The Parramatta Eels take on the Melbourne Storm at AAMI Park tonight (Saturday 8 July) in Round 18 of the NRL Telstra Premiership.

Previewing the clash thanks to, Blue & Gold Assistant Coach Steve Murphy says the side will need to improve on last week’s performance that same them come away golden point victors over the Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs.

“It is very important at this time of year that you go up in two’s and at this stage, we are in a pretty healthy position. But that can all change pretty quickly,” Murhpy said.

“We need to play a lot better than we did last week or we wont be getting the result this week.”

The Storm will be without six Origin players, including skipper Cameron Smith, Billy Slater, Cooper Cronk, Will Chambers, Tim Glasby and Cameron Munster, however Murphy says it is the Storm’s forwards that still hold the key to their side.

And the Blue & Gold will not be taking their opposition lightly.

“When you look at their [the Melbourne Storm’s] forward pack, Nate Myles and Kenny Bromwich are coming off the bench. They would be starters in any other forward pack,” Murphy said.

“They are only missing Cameron Smith from their forwards, and their forwards are where the game is won or lost. In terms of having an advantage, you are going to Melbourne in Melbourne and it doesn’t matter who they put in that purple jersey, they seem to get the job done.”

“They are clearly in my eyes the best team in the competition and they will be looking to make a statement with their young players against us this week.” Murphy added.

“We will have to match them in the forwards, and not only match them but go over the top of them, and if we do that we might have an edge out wide. But there is a lot of football to be played and we will have to be a lot better than we were last week.”

The Eels halves combinations of Mitch Moses and Corey Norman guided the Eels to victory last week, including the match winning field goal by Moses, and Murphy says the pair will only continue to improve.

“Mitch has established himself pretty well, and he is graduating in a real accomplished young player. We are really excited that he is our club and you are going to see better performances in the future.” Murphy said.

“That partnership with Corey Norman is evolving. They are probably locked in a little bit to the left and right at the moment and we probably want them to play a little bit more together but that will come as they become more familiar with each other.”

“Hopefully you will see a bit of that this week.”

And the Eels have made just the one change to their line up this week, with young forward Tepai Moeroa called into the starting side.

“Tepai is a young man with a big future and playing at this level of competition isn’t easy for a young player and he has had a few bumps and bruises along the way.”

“He is just about fully fit now and we will see the best of him in the back end of the season I am sure.”

The Eels kick off against the Melbourne Storm from AAMI Park tonight at 7:30pm.

Acknowledgement of Country

Parramatta Eels respect and honour the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.

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