Lethargic Eels look for energy boost
Parramatta forward David Gower believes his team needs to refamiliarise themselves with their core playing principles when their season goes on the line against the Raiders on Saturday.
With the fate of their finals berth well out of their hands after their loss to Newcastle last weekend, Parramatta are now reliant on the Broncos and Warriors slipping up in Round 26, while they themselves must also defeat the Raiders to have any chance of progressing.
"There is a lot for us to work on [from last weekend] but we just want to play with energy, effort and enthusiasm. They're the three principles that we try to play with every week and we didn’t hit any of them against Newcastle," Gower lamented.
"We are still a chance so if we go out and play well and hope results do fall our way.
"We just have to take the attitude that we don't want to finish our season – we have put a lot of good work in and we have made good progress this year so we don't want to finish our year on two poor performances."
Eels captain Tim Mannah isn't resting on his laurels either; despite finishing higher than their previous two wooden spoon seasons the veteran prop isn't content to dwell on their improved 2014.
"We're not ready to reflect too much on how the season's been or the satisfaction of how good our season has gone," Mannah said.
"We're just worried about how we can play our best football and put in a performance that will make everyone proud and everyone realise that we are a genuine footy team."
With a sniff of irony in the air with former Eels coach Ricky Stuart perhaps becoming the man to end Parramatta's year, the Raiders will prove dangerous as they look to close out their season with three wins on the trot.
Gower acknowledges they are "playing a risk-free, care-free style of football".
And if results don't go their way it isn't the end of the world either, according to the Holy Cross Rhinos junior - the recently re-signed Gower believes there is plenty to be excited about in 2015.
"If our season does happen to end on the weekend than we have a lot to look back on with pride and a lot to work with moving forward," Gower said.
"I'm excited to be here the next couple of years, both personally in my own improvement and seeing the young kids and the experience they gained throughout the year."