Despite the 2018 Telstra Premiership season still being young, Wests Tigers co-captain Chris Lawrence is adamant the Parramatta Eels will be desperate for a win in their clash at ANZ Stadium on Easter Monday.
It’s been a tough run for Parramatta with no competition points secured after three games.
Lawrence says as the struggling side will find last year’s end-of-season form, so the Tigers will be wary of containing former teammate Mitchell Moses who's now calling the shots at the Eels.
"Starting strong will be crucial for us, obviously Parramatta will come out firing having not won a game," Lawrence said.
"They are going to be desperate to get some points on the board so I'm sure they will start really hard and fast and we’re going to have to match it with them up front in that first 20 or 30 minutes.
"We know what Mitch Moses can bring, we all know how good of a player he is spending quite a bit of time here at the Tigers."
But before they get to Moses the Tigers will have to out-muscle a big Eels forward pack first.
"I saw their game last week and they've got a really big and powerful forward pack and obviously some really exciting outside backs," Lawrence said.
"They play off the back of their go forward from their big men and their outside backs really come to life once they get that roll on.
"It's a big challenge again for our forward pack to try and match them in the forwards and hopefully if we can do that we can nullify some of their exciting outside backs."
Tigers Corey Thompson has been given the fullback duties for another week, however Tuimoala Lolohea - returning from a knee injury - has been named on an extended bench which could force a late reshuffle.
Lolohea is not the only one with a niggling injury. Thompson says the long turn-around has given the players ample time for recovery to face a hungry Parramatta side.
"I think some of the boys have some niggling injuries that the long turn-around will definitely help them and by the time Monday comes around I think the full-strength side will be close to being out there," Thompson said.
"We're preparing as if they've won all three games. You can't go into a game lightly in the NRL because if you do you just end up getting flogged.
"They're not going to go into their shell after a bad start of the season, they will come out with confidence and we have to be ready to absorb it."