The Parramatta Eels are preparing to take on the Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs this Thursday night in Round 22 of the NRL Telstra Premiership.
Blue & Gold centre Michael Jennings has hopes of the Eels securing their spot as a Top Four team, and he knows the side must back up their strong 28-14 performance over the Brisbane Broncos this week, and every week for the remaining of the competition.
“It is looking good at the moment, after the weekend, that was our best performance that we put together for 75 minutes this year,” Jennings said.
“The boys are working so hard off the field and we are trying to strive for greatness and success and we are starting to reap the rewards now which is good.”
“We want to consider ourselves a Top Four team so the way we played on the weekend is how we want to be playing every week heading towards the finals.” He added.
“We can be a Top Four team if we keep winning and other teams keep losing.”
The Eels trailed by twelve points early in the match, but Jennings said the side still had plenty of belief they would come over the top of their opposition.
He said this quality would be vital in the back end of this season.
“When we were 12 points down, everyone was calm and there was no disbelief. Everyone was confident that if we just rode the wave and weathered the storm we would get on top of them.” Jennings said
“We hung in there, and at the end, we were able to take it away.”
“You definitely need that and get a lot of confidence in being able to be calm in that situation.” he added.
“Playing against the Broncos, where they do play the full 80 minutes with high completions, it is something that you need in the Finals and it’s good that we are on the right path.”
The Eels half combination of Corey Norman and Mitch Moses received plenty of praise, as they guided the side around the park.
Jennings said that the combination had been doing a lot of work together in preparation.
“It is good that we have Normy and Mitchy really working well together. They have had a couple of weeks now and all the stuff that they are doing off the field, and they are getting along really well which is making their job easier on the field.” Jennings said.
“Steering the boys around, it’s making the team look really good.”
“They do a lot of video and Brad does a lot of video with our spine. They do a lot of work in the video room, where we can exploit teams, and they are working really hard off the field as long as on the paddock.” He added.
The Eels were without Clint Gutherson, who has been ruled out for the remainder of the season, but Bevan French returned to the number one jersey with a strong performance.
Jennings said the young fullback would need to continue to produce that performance on a weekly basis.
“It was devastating losing Gutho, but to replace him with Bevvy, the talent that he has and the job that he did on the weekend, we will need that from him every week.” Jenings said.
“If he performs every week, we have a good shot at making the Finals.”
The Eels kick off against the Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs on Thursday 3 August at ANZ Stadium in Round 22 of the NRL Telstra Premiership. Kick off is at 7:50pm.