As the Parramatta Eels prepare to take on the Gold Coast Titans at Cbus Super Stadium in Round Two of the NRL Telstra Premiership, we take a look at five key talking points ahead of the clash.
Despite off field distractions and uncertainty surrounding the corona virus pandemic, Eels Head Coach Brad Arthur says the side is focused on continuing to play their part and ensure the game continues to go ahead.
“The boys are doing a really good job [to isolate]. They know how important it is to the game,” Arthur said.
“We commend the NRL for the stance they have taken and we have to play our part, not just on the field, but making sure we do as much as we can to isolate ourselves for the safety of everyone but also to continue the game to run.”
“The best thing possible is for the game to continue to go ahead.” Arthur added.
Arthur addresses media ahead of Round Two
- Same Day Travel
The Eels have travelled up to the Gold Coast on a chartered fly-in-fly-out scenario. However the same match day scenario is not new to the Blue & Gold.
"It's a little bit different, we did it last year when we played the Gold Coast so it won't be too different, maybe just not playing in front of a crowd," Eels halfback Mitchell Moses said.
Arthur said the side was looking forward to the same day travel.
“It’s an extra day at home for the boys. I think the NRL has looked after us.”
“We had had practice at it last year for the Titans and Broncos game, travelling on the day of, and it went smoothly so we have had a bit of practice at it.”
- Playing behind closed doors
This will be the final game of the round after the NRL announced that matches will be played behind closed doors.
"I think it will feel a bit different, sometimes when you're in games and on top fans can get you through the last bit. It gives us a chance to focus on ourselves and we'll see how that goes." Eels halfback Mitch Moses said on the issue.
Whether it is in front of 50,000, 10,000 or 500 people, we still have a job to do and we are the fortunate ones that are still in a job so we have to play our part.” Arthur said when asked of playing behind closed doors.
- Eels line up
The Blue & Gold came through their opening round one clash against the Bulldogs unscathed, with Arthur naming the same seventeen to face the Titans.
The only change came in the extended reserves, with David Gower remaining in the squad of 19 next to George Jennings.
Off a long turn around, the Eels will be looking for a second victory to start their season.
- The opposition
Whilst the Titans suffered a defeat last week, rookie coach Justin Holbrook will be looking to build on what was a promising second-half performance.
Arthur knows that travelling up to the Gold Coast, who will be desperate to get a win, can not be taken lightly.
“They are a team that like to play with the football so we need to make sure that defensively, we are on our job and have that footy awareness in defence.”
Match: Titans v Eels
Round 2 -
Venue: Cbus Super Stadium, Gold Coast