The Parramatta Eels take on the Brisbane Broncos at ANZ Stadium tonight (Friday 28 July) in Round 21 of the NRL Telstra Premiership.
Previewing the game thanks to betting.club, Blue & Gold Assistant Coach Steve Murphy says the side are pleased to come away with the victory last week, their fourth in a row, but must improve in several areas to match it with the in-form Broncos.
“Every two points is an important two points at any time but more importantly at this time of year. We are pleased with the result but obviously our performances need to improve moving forward,” Murphy said.
“Consistency from tackle to tackle, and set to set. Ball in hand we have played in patches, and much has been said about that in the past. We just need to play for longer periods.”
“Our good periods are very good and our poor periods are lasting a little bit too long as well. We just need an 80 minute performance tonight if we are going to have any chance to beat the Broncos.” Murphy added
The Broncos are currently placed third on the NRL Telstra Premiership ladder, and Murphy know the Eels must do the little things right, against a team that do not give you many opportunities, if they are to compete tonight.
“They are a very persistent, resilient, tough, gritty team that have a lot of class to add to that too.” Murphy said.
“Boyd and Milford back, they can hurt you from anywhere in the field. Their forwards have been doing an outstanding job laying a strong platform and then playing some second phase off that so we will have to be very good defensively.”
“We will have to get ourselves into the game with running strong, kicking long and chasing hard and they will take us a long way down the track of getting us in the game, and once we are in the game, we are comfortable that ball in hand, we are as good as anyone.”
The Broncos have plenty of dangers right across the park and Murphy says the side are excited for the challenge.
“They have plenty of x-factor. I think Blair has been doing an outstanding job through the middle of the field for them and Gillett on the edges is an outstanding forward,” Murphy said.
“To capitalise on that movement and ball movement through the middle, they have some real speed with Roberts out wide and Milford, who can really hurt you in any direction very quickly.”
“We will need to be good but at the same time, we are excited about it.”
The Eels will be without Clint Gutherson who was ruled out through injury and Murphy expects Bevan French to fill the number one jersey confidently this week.
“Exciting for Bevan, tragic for Clint and the team. He is a very popular member of the squad and it’s something that we need to get used to very quickly,” Murphy said.
“Clint is a real energetic member of the squad and will be missed, but at the same time, Bevan is an exciting talent and he is our long term future at this club and we are really excited about him fulfilling Clint’s shoes.”
The Blue & Gold Army were out in force at last week’s game, and Murphy is hoping for the same for the remainder of the completion as the side looks to build confidence and string some wins together.
“We will need to not only win the games we are expected to win but we will have take a scalp on the way in to really build confidence and belief in the group. We are confident right now, but we will need to play very well against the Top Four teams on the run in to give ourselves a good chance,” Murphy said.
“The crowd was deafening last week, from the side line I could definitely hear plenty of them, so it’s great for the team, it’s great for the players and great for the staff.”
“It is an exciting time of year and the Club wants to be a part of it because we haven’t tasted it for a while.” He added.