The Parramatta Eels will clash with the New Zealand Warriors at ANZ Stadium tomorrow night (Friday 18 May) in Round 11 of the NRL Telstra Premiership.
After suffering a 20-12 defeat to the Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs last week, seeing their record slump to 2-8 after the opening ten rounds, Blue & Gold five-eighth Corey Norman said there was plenty of frustration.
When asked of last week’s performance and the year so far, Norman said the side’s crucial errors and the squad not managing to find out what makes the side tick this year was causing plenty of frustration.
“We are not looking that the season is over. It is just the frustration,” Norman said on the Big Sports Breakfast this morning when asked of the emotion shown in the sheds after last week’s game.
“We are a very passionate group, and we keep losing on our home soil. It is just silly mistakes at silly times and we are hurting ourselves and after the game, everyone is so devastated because we keep handing games to teams.”
“Everything has gone so well [the preseason and our preparation leading into the year] and that is the frustrating part, that it’s just not there at the moment and it’s so hard to put your finger on what it is.” Norman added.
“We have sat down so many times to figure out what needs to make us tick this year and we just haven’t found it this year.”
The Eels are preparing to take on the Warriors this week and Norman says the Blue & Gold need to bring an aggressive attitude and a backs against the wall mentality.
“We need to be aggressive against the Warriors and need a good start,” Norman said.
“I think the last few weeks our starts have been very poor and we have been letting the teams get a jump on us and we can’t afford to do that against the Warriors.”
“Shaun Johnson is a massive loss for them but Isaac Luke is a big inclusion for them and he is so dangerous around the work so we will need to look after him.” He added.
There has been plenty of talk from media organisations and outside the Blue & Gold questioning the Club’s culture, but Norman shot down these claims, saying the culture was the best it has ever been.
“I think the culture is the best it has ever been. Previous years, we have been in trouble off the field and all that kind of stuff, but I think this is the best we have ever been culture wise around the Club,” Norman said.
“That is why it is so frustrating, because people are coming out to talk about our culture, but we have worked so hard over the last couple of years to build a winning and good culture, and we are all throwing that away at the moment.”
Recent reports also had Eels halfback and teammate Mitch Moses as a potential NSW Blues Origin selection for the 2018 series.
Norman was confident that his halves partner would put his best foot forward for the NSW side if selected.
“I think Freddy has worked with Mitch during the World Cup and holds him in high regards,” Norman said.
“If Freddy thinks he can get the job done, that is Freddy’s choice, but no doubt if Mitch gets the opportunity he will put his best foot forward.”
“He is a very talented player first of all, and when he gets his running game right, he is very dangerous.” Norman continued.
“He can see the game unfolding really well so I think it all comes down to his running game, because when he is running, he is very dangerous.”
The Eels will kick off against the New Zealand Warriors at ANZ Stadium on Friday 18 May. Click through to purchase your tickets to the clash.