Eels wary of Tigers bounce-back
A Parramatta side looking for a third straight win is wary that a desperate Wests Tigers outfit will be fired up after a poor loss as Leichhardt to the Panthers last Sunday.
The Eels may have the lengthiest injury list in the NRL but will be boosted by the return of left-edge forward Manu Ma'u, while the Tigers have lost NSW representatives Aaron Woods and Robbie Farah, but Eels forward David Gower told NRL.com that won't make them any less dangerous.
While the Eels have also lost centre Will Hopoate to Origin duty, Ma'u's return means Gower can return to a middle-of-the-field role and he said the Tigers will be desperate to bounce back when they face the Eels at ANZ Stadium on Monday.
"Last time they were without Robbie and Aaron Woods they towelled Souths up [34-6 in Round 14] so they're definitely going to be hungry," he said.
"They're going to see this as an opportunity to win and try to keep their season alive as well. We just need to be desperate and hungry as well and continue to work on the things we need to improve.
"If we maintain the hunger and intensity we've had the last six weeks we're pretty confident we're got the strike power to be competitive."
The Eels were "pretty embarrassed" about getting rolled by Wests Tigers in the final 10 minutes of their Easter Monday clash in Round 5, when they were up 6-4 with just over 10 minutes to go before conceding three late tries.
"Last time we were guilty of playing their game, this week we're pretty keen to go out there and play the way we want to play and do the things we know work for us," Gower said.
"If we play like we know we can play we're confident we can be competitive against anyone. That's a big focus for us but maintaining our intensity in defence for 80 minutes, we're very confident in the attack we've got."
Gower realises with both sides outside the eight every game is important to try and stay in touch with the teams in finals contention.
"We let a few slip early in the year which were pretty disappointing and embarrassing for us. Every game is important, we're just going to take it week to week and this week it's the Tigers, Monday night, they're going to be desperate and we're going to be equally as desperate.
"We're just looking forward to ripping in, playing for each other, playing for our fans and our coaching staff and just having a crack."
Prop Danny Wicks said while he didn't see the Tigers' efforts against the Panthers on Sunday but he knows how they'd feel to be coming off a disappointing loss.
"I didn't see it to be honest but coming off the back of a loss, we know the feeling. You want to win, you've got something to prove so it should be a good game," he said.
Wicks isn't worried about the Eels recent record at ANZ Stadium – just one win from their past 20 visits.
"It's always good with the home ground advantage but going away, we've got a little bit of something to prove and we'll try and string something together and try and get the season rolling," he said.