The Parramatta Eels are preparing to take on the South Sydney Rabbitohs on Friday 1 September in Round 26 of the NRL Telstra Premiership, the final game of the regular season before the Finals.
The Eels have not featured in the Finals since 2009, and whilst there is plenty of excitement in the air from Blue & Gold Members and fans, Alvaro says the side is keeping a lid on it, focusing on their next task at hand.
“We’re just taking one week at a time. Were worried about the South’s right now and just getting the things right that we need to get right going into that game to put ourselves in the best position to have a good shot at the finals.” Alvaro said.
“We’ll just get through that and reassess and go from there.”
“This game is massive for us on the weekend and to get that fourth spot is really important to us and the boys are really focused on doing that,” he added.
The Souths are coming off a 64-6 loss to the Melbourne Storm and Alvaro expects the opposition to be fired up.
“I think that’s probably one of the harder times to play a team because they’ll be fired up and ready to go, to make amends for last week.” Alvaro said.
“We’re expecting a really tough physical game and I’m looking forward to it.”
“Well hopefully we’ll just learn from that [the loss to the Knights a few weeks ago] and make sure every ones focused and working extra hard to not let that happen again.” Alvaro added.
“We don’t want to sort of drop our standards and get done like that again especially one week before the finals, we want to go out on a high note.”
“We’ve moved on from it, but we’ve still got it in the back of our minds to not let it happen again.” He continued.
Alvaro praised Ken Thornett Medallist Nathan Brown, who was awarded the accolade earlier in the week, with the lock forward preparing to face his former club for the first time.
“Yeah he’s had a massive year and he’s slotted straight into our club, and very well deserving just stoked for him to get that,” Alvaro said.
“I don’t think so,” Alvaro added when asked if Brown had a point to prove against his former club.
“I think his focus is on his own footy right now and just trying to keep going with the form he’s going and get us rolling into the finals on a good note.”
The Eels are coming off a dominant 52-34 victory over the Brisbane Broncos last week, where Kirisome Auva’a put himself into the record books by scoring the fastest try in NRL history.
The Eels will be looking to back up that performance against the South Sydney Rabbitohs.
“It’s sort of mixed emotions, it was good to score so many points we haven’t put that many on this year I don’t think. Bit of a down side letting that many in so that’s something we’ve got to fix up really quickly, because the teams we’ll be playing over the next few weeks they could really hurt us if we leak that many points,” Alvaro said.
“I had no idea about it until after the game and then they told me ‘Somi’ (Kirisome) had scored the fastest try, good on him.”
Winger Semi Radradra scored 4 tries against the Broncos last week and Alvaro had nothing but praise for his teammate.
“Semi Radradra, I wouldn’t like that at all,” Alvaro said of trying to tackle the winger.
“He was flying, especially on the weekend. He’s a freak and hopefully he just keeps turning it on.”
“You get a massive lift, it lifts your team and boosts the confidence for the whole group and hopefully he can keep doing it” Alvaro added.
“He’s a special player and trying to split his performances is hard to do. He’s just quality all the time.”
“We don’t want to think too much about that [Semi not at the Eels next year], we are just trying to enjoy him while he’s here.”
“Definitely love to see him back at the club and hopefully that ends up happening.”
The Eels kick off against the South Sydney Rabbitohs on Friday 1 September in Round 26 of the NRL Telstra Premiership, kick off at 7:50pm. Click through to purchase your tickets to the clash.