Souths win makes up for losses: Gower
Eels forward David Gower hopes his side has made up for two disappointing losses on the road with an impressive win over the previously unbeaten Rabbitohs at Pirtek Stadium on Friday night.
Gower, like most of the Eels pack, was excellent as his side matched it with the powerful Rabbitohs forwards in the 29-16 win – a far cry from the side that leaked 22 points in as many minutes at the start of its previous game, which they went on to lose 29-16 against the Warriors in Auckland.
"Reigning premiers, playing with the world of confidence, they've forgotten how to lose. We were pretty keen to come out of here in front of our home fans and put in a good performance," Gower told NRL.com after the game.
Reminded the Rabbitohs hadn't lost a game in any format since Round 26 last year against the Roosters, Gower was quick to recall the last time he'd faced the cardinal and myrtle: "They spanked us in the Nines in the semis too," he said.
"We just wanted to worry about ourselves - we know they're a great side and they deserve the respect that we gave them. We just wanted to make up for the last two games and make up for the way we started and I think we did that tonight.
"We've got a great pack - I'll back our boys any day of the week."
The pack's efforts were more impressive given they lost back-rower Kenny Edwards before the season began, prop Junior Paulo in Round 1 for nine weeks to suspension, and also hard-hitting youngster Tepai Moeroa during the week due to an infection.
"We've got good depth here at the club too," Gower said.
"I think Richie Fa'aoso gets his clearance shortly and that will be another experienced campaigner to come into our side.
"We're very confident in the boys that we've got and the depth at the club that we're going to continue to be a success."
Gower was impressed by the form of both halves, who seemed to enjoy the extra space afforded them by the efforts of the forwards.
"Corey Norman made the team of the tournament over in the Auckland Nines, he was great over there and he's continued that into the season for us. If he just keeps playing with confidence and our left edge was great again tonight," he said.
"They've [Norman and halfback Chris Sandow] been great for the first three weeks of the comp, if they can continue to improve and develop and Corey as a leader we're pretty happy with how they're going."
Looking ahead to the side's massive Easter Monday clash at ANZ Stadium next week against Wests Tigers, in a re-match of a game won 21-18 by the Tigers last year, Gower – who came off the bench in that game – was hopeful of a better result this time around.
"Hopefully our blue and gold army can get out in numbers and hopefully there's 50-plus thousand again because it's a great spectacle and a great occasion - that's why you play the game, to play in front of big crowds on big occasions," he said.