Eels have addressed collapse: Foran
Eels skipper Kieran Foran says last week's capitulation against Penrith was down to the blue and golds' own poor finish and the players have already addressed it to ensure such a fade-out doesn't reoccur.
Conceding two tries in the last five minutes to lose a winnable game was very unlike the 2016 Eels – though would have been unsurprising for the 2015 version – and new captain Foran was keen to ensure it didn't become a habit again this year.
"We've addressed it. We were really disappointed," Foran said ahead of the Raiders clash.
"We weren't at our best and didn't play our best. We did enough to win that game we felt. We gave ourselves the opportunity to close that one out and win it and we just didn't do that.
"I think we had two sets out of the last nine, we just put ourselves under immense pressure and we were going to crack sooner or later. You could just feel Penrith had all the running of the ball and we compounded error after error."
Foran said the team's completions over the opening five rounds had been a worry, though over the previous three wins they had been able to close out close games despite not scoring a lot of points.
"You've got to be up around the 85-90 per cent mark completing and I think we're around 70 per cent," he said.
"We're just putting ourselves under too much pressure and asking our big boys to do so much extra work but they can only do so much work."
Of those big boys in the middle, Foran had nothing but praise for the efforts of the blue and gold forward pack over the opening five games.
"They're the only reason we've won, really. The effort they've put in over the first five rounds has been phenomenal," he said.
"Especially when you take into account that we've completed I think the lowest in the NRL to date over the first five rounds.
"When you're not completing you're having to do twice as many tackles as everyone else so you take that into account then what they've been able to do with the ball in terms of getting us up the field, our forwards have got to be given a massive rap for that."
They will certainly have their work cut out for them against a formidable Raiders pack that steamrolled the vaunted Canterbury pack last week and Foran admitted it will be no easy task at Pirtek on Saturday.
"They've always had a big side but their forwards were quite aggressive and really muscled up for the full 80 and managed to get them down the field quite easy. We want to try and limit that. We're going to have to meet them halfway and get off our line," he said.
Canberra's halves pairing of Blake Austin and Aiden Sezer as loom as huge threats for Parramatta.
"They're both really great players and they really suit one another. Sezer's the controlling type and got a great kicking game and pass selection and Austin is such a threat when he runs the footy and shows and goes," Foran said.
"They complement each other's games really well which is what you need in a halves combination."