The Parramatta Eels will clash with the Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs at ANZ Stadium tonight (Friday 11 May) in Round Ten, the NRL Indigenous Round, of the 2018 NRL Telstra Premiership.
In the lead up to the clash, Blue & Gold forward Kenny Edwards says the Blue & Gold are expecting a tough and physical encounter against a desperate Bulldogs side.
A bottom of the table clash, Edwards says it hurts the sides pride to see where they currently sit on the table and the team will be doing everything they can to improve on last week’s performance.
“It’s a tough one to explain why it took 70 minutes to get into that game, “ Edwards said when reflecting on last week’s performance.
“It’s the story of our season. Just inconsistent footy and the wrong plays at the wrong times. Moving forward, we have our backs up against the wall and we can’t afford to have a start like that.”
“The Bulldogs are always a tough side with big boys in the middle,” Edwards added.
“It’s always a physical game when we play the Bulldogs with the likes of Aaron Woods, David Klemmer plus Josh Jackson and Raymond Faitala-Mariner who is playing some good footy.”
“We will have to shut those guys down if we are to have a chance in this game.”
The Eels suffered a two point defeat to the Cronulla-Sharks last week and Edwards put it down to the side not giving themselves a chance until it was too late.
“It was tough to lose last week after all the momentum we had. We just didn’t give ourselves a chance till that last five minutes,” Edwards said.
“We just played dumb footy really, finishing in the wrong spots and our last tackle options just weren’t good enough.”
“It’s quite tough to be scrolling through social media and seeing the ladder pop up and it’s hard seeing we are on the bottom but hopefully this week we can turn it around.” He added.
Eels halfback Mitch Moses had an opportunity to level the scores after the fulltime siren to send the game to extra time, and whilst his conversion was unsuccessful, Edwards said the result was not something Moses had to burden.
“Mitch’s miss was just one kick, we lost the game a long time before that. It’s just something that happens but we will move on.” Edwards said.
“He would of felt the whole world was on his shoulders but like we explained, we lost the game a long time before that.”
The Blue & Gold will be without hooker Kaysa Pritchard, ruled out with injury, and whilst Edwards said it will be a big loss, the side is confident in whoever comes in to replace the hooker.
“Kaysa is a big loss as he just started to play some good footy. But we have a couple of boys there in Will Smith or Cameron King who we know can do the job,” Edwards said.
“Kaysa has had a couple good games in a row, probably the best form of his career, so it’s tough to lose my little mate but we have full confidence in who comes in to do a job.”
The Eels kick off against the Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs at ANZ Stadium in Round 10 of the NRL Telstra Premiership tonight (Friday 11 May) at 7:50pm.