The Parramatta Eels are preparing to take on the Penrith Panthers at ANZ Stadium in Round Five of the NRL Telstra Premiership on Sunday 8 April.
Meeting for the second time in five weeks, the Blue & Gold will be looking to reverse their round one result in the Battle of the West and register their first win of the season.
Speaking to Big Sports Breakfast on Thursday 5 April ahead of the clash, Blue & Gold five-eighth Corey Norman says the side’s performances have been frustrating.
With the Blue & Gold forward pack receiving plenty of off-field criticism for their performances during the opening rounds of the season, Norman defended his middles saying it was the entire team that needed to improve.
“It is just frustrating. We have worked so hard in the pre-season and we are working so hard its just not coming off for us. It’s frustrating.” Norman said.
“I have total faith in everyone in our forward pack. It is the same players as last year and we weren’t complaining about them last year when we were winning games.”
“I have total faith in the boys that are here, its just not happening in the games for us at the moment.”
“We talk about possession, and Brad is always talking about how much more tackling we are doing that the other team, and we cant just blame that, but it does take a bit of energy out of the boys.” He added.
Norman says the Blue & Gold need to bring an aggressive mentality this week, and build off their last 25 minutes last week.
The side showed promising signs in attacking, crossing for three late tries, and Norman says the side must continue to build on that platform this week.
“I think our defence, and aggression and mentality with our defence. When our defence is on, our attack follows that as well.” Norman said.
“If we turn up with that aggressive mentality with our defence, and we can move forward on with that last 25 minutes we played last week with our attack, we will be confident.”
“I think we became a bit passive with our defence and those penalties may of scared us because a few of them were on the fourth tackle and that put us off. We just have to stay aggressive and keep hunting as a pack.” He added.
When asked of what clicked in the last 25 minutes, Norman says it felt like the attacking Parramatta had returned.
“We ran harder, got to our points to the field and played our football. We weren’t going one out and we were pushing up.” Norman said.
“That last 25 mins, it felt like us. It felt like Parramatta again.”
“If we can build on that 25 mins from the get go this week, and have that aggressive mentality in defence, we should be confident.” Norman continued.
Norman himself knows his form is not where it should be, knowing he needs to step up and improve.
He knows he owes it to the Blue & Gold.
“I said last week my performances are not where they should be and I obviously have to step up. I haven’t done that the last few weeks and this week I really need to step up and steer this team and get a victory.” Norman said.
“As a player, and you can see the fans leaving, its up there with one of the worst feelings.”
“We definitely have to give them a win this week.”
The Eels take on the Penrith Panthers at ANZ Stadium this Sunday, kick off at 4:10pm.