The Parramatta Eels are preparing to take on the North Queensland Cowboys this Saturday 16 September, in a do or die elimination Semi Finals clash.
After suffering a 18-16 defeat to the Minor Premiers, the Melbourne Storm last week, Blue & Gold forward Suaia Matagi says the side can take plenty of positives out of last week’s defeat heading into this clash.
“It was definitely disappointing but there are a lot of positives to take out of it, and still plenty of room for improvement, so we are looking forward to the Cowboys this week, putting in the hard work and getting ready to play this Saturday,” Matagi said of the defeat to the Storm.
“A few errors and our discipline let us down, so if we take that out of our game we will give ourselves the best chance this Saturday. It’s exciting times now and I am looking forward to it.” Matagi added.
“If we can take those little penalties that we can control away, I think it will go a huge way in giving us the opportunity to win this game.”
The Eels come up against the North Queensland Cowboys, who came away with a thrilling 15-14 victory over the Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks in extra-time last week and Matagi knows the opposition will be a tough and committed challenge.
“You saw the Cowboys against the Sharks, we can’t take them lightly,” Matagi said.
“They are a good team, have been playing well all year and they refuse to give up for the full 80 minutes.”
“They are a big challenge. They weren’t in the Top Eight for no reason.” Matagi added.
“We know it is a big one for us and we just have to make sure we do what we do and prepare well to give ourselves the best opportunity this week.”
Matagi expects the battle of the forwards, in particular limiting the impact Cowboys forward Jason Taumalalo has in the game, to go a long way in coming away with the win.
“Taumalolo will definitely be one of the big threats. He has had a massive year this year and I know he will be willing to finish off the year strong so we have to do a massive job on him and hopefully we can stop him this week.” Matagi said.
“We know if we take care of the things we can control as a forward pack, by just going forward and working together in defence we will go a long way in winning this game.” He added.
“If we look after the things we can control then I think everything else will take care of itself.”
The Eels kick off against the Cowboys in the elimination Semi Final on Saturday 16 September, kick off at 7:40pm. Click through to purchase your tickets to the clash.