The Parramatta Eels take on the Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs at ANZ Stadium tonight (Thursday 3 August) in Round 22 of the NRL Telstra Premiership.
Previewing the game thanks to betting.club, Blue & Gold assistant Coach Pete Gentle says coming off a victory against the Brisbane Broncos last week, the side is continuing to improve in all the right areas.
“It was the performance we have been waiting for. As Brad keeps saying, we were 75 minutes out of 80, so we still can’t get that 80 minute performance but we are getting better in a lot of areas,” Gentle said.
“But we need to because every side is getting better at this time of year.”
“It wasn’t ideal the way we started, we have spoken long and hard about that and have addressed it and we are sure it won’t happen again.” He added.
The Eels will clash head to head with the 13th placed Bulldogs, and despite their position on the ladder and their recent form, Gentle says the Blue & Gold cannot underestimate their opponents.
Gentle expects this week, along with the next several weeks, to be tough when their opposition have nothing to lose.
“In the coming weeks, we will be playing sides that have nothing to lose and will threaten on three-four plays out of the six. We are expecting a different type of Bulldogs side this week.” Gentle said.
“Their big forwards can all ball play and their edge back rowers are pretty hand as well, and then the halves with Reynolds there, Mybe at nine and maybe Chase Stanley at six.” Gentle added of their dangers.
“There is enough footy there to score points so we have to be on our game.”
“There is plenty of experience out the back with both Morris boys and Hoppa too, we are well aware at what he can do. We have had a real good look at them, and we are looking forward to it.”
“We are very conscious it’s our third game in twelve days on the training field but we have done a fair bit of prep for them and we are certainly ready.”
Last week the Eels welcomed back forward Peni Terepo, who returned from a pec injury.
Gentle said Terepo’s return to the field was well deserved, and he predicted the impact forward to have more minutes in the middle this week.
“Peni put a lot of effort into his rehab and he got back early. It was good to see him back out there and the boys were glad to see him back on the field, as were the coaches.” Gentle said.
“He will get a bit more time this week and it’s the right time of year to come back and build some time into his game and work on his game.”
“His leg speed, he has good skills and he is going to build into a bit of time too but he is great to have on the bench because he can certainly change the game.” Gentle added.
The Eels kick off tonight against the Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs at ANZ Stadium, kick off at 7:50pm.