The Parramatta Eels are preparing to take on the South Sydney Rabbitohs at ANZ Stadium tonight in Round 26 of the NRL Telstra Premiership.
Previewing the game thanks to betting.club, Blue & Gold Assistant Coach Pete Gentle says the Eels, despite coming away with a convincing victory over the Brisbane Broncos last week, still have plenty of improvements left in them when they take on the Rabbitohs tonight.
“From a fans point of view it was great to get a win but from a coaching point of view we were extremely disappointed with a few areas of our game,” Gentle said.
“There is plenty of room for improvement, we have worked hard and we had some very good, honest video sessions during the week which has been good.”
The Rabbitohs are coming off a big defeat to a rampant Melbourne Storm side last week, and whilst they will not feature in the Finals in 2017, Gentle knows the task ahead of the Blue & Gold will still be a challenging one.
“Prior to last week, the Rabbitohs had three pretty strong wins. They will be disappointed with their season and that wasn’t the Rabbitohs you saw last week. Melbourne were very hot, and Souths didn’t do a lot wrong, so we are expecting a pretty decent hit out,” Gentle said.
“You have to stop their forwards first, but they are pretty handy out of the back field too.” He added.
“We have had a good look at them, and right across the board we need to be on our game. It is a very good test for us going into the Semis.”
Head Coach Brad Arthur reduced his side to 19 players last night, in the latest team list update, and whilst experienced forward Beau Scott was named on the extended bench, Gentle confirmed the forward will be called into the final line up.
He said his return, along with the return of Manu Ma’u who returns from suspension, will be big inclusions in the side.
“Manu, along with Beau Scott, the pair of them coming back in. Manu brings a bit of resilience into that left edge there, he is their go to man when we need him on that left edge and he is very handy,” Gentle said.
“Beau Scott, with the experience he has had during Semi Finals and Grand Finals, it’s invaluable to bring someone like him back into the side.”
“He has been there and done it, along with Jenko, Kirisome Auva’a, so we have had a few Grand Finalists come through the Club so that experience is invaluable there.”
“Beau will bring what he normally brings. We are not after him to do anything special, he knows that. He will get out there, dust the cobwebs off, have a bit of a gallop, make tackles and be all set for next week.” Gentle added.
Eels lock forward Nathan Brown will also feature against his former Club for the first time, but Gentle said that the team is not focussed on the latest Ken Thornett Medallist coming up against his ex-teammates, but rather the job they have at hand.
“We haven’t spoken at all about Nathan Brown taking on his former club. We have bigger fish to fry than Browny playing his old club. The boys have been good, it hasn’t been mentioned,” Gentle said.
“We are all for winning this game and I don’t think there has been any agendas there from Browny, or anyone else. It is just about us getting out there, getting the two points and securing a Top Four.”
“Browny has been terrific, playing a lot of time for us and there are areas of game he has to improve but he is willing to learn. He is going to be something special next year.” Gentle added.
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.