Parramatta Eels skipper Clint Gutherson is wary of a Wests Tigers outfit desperate for their first victory of the season after experiencing a similar start to the year in 2018.
Gutherson was one of four players in this week’s Eels line-up who went 0-6 to start the season four years ago, in which the club went on to finish with the wooden spoon.
There is no better time for the heavily scrutinised opponents to hit back on Easter Monday against an Eels outfit that have lost Junior Paulo (suspension) and Waqa Blake (knee) this week.
The Wests Tigers welcome back Jackson Hastings and Daine Laurie for the clash, leaving Gutherson on alert for a side who have their backs against the wall.
“They’ve been close in lot of games this year and probably got unlucky in a few,” Gutherson said.
“Being on the other end of that we’ve been in that situation as well. It’s pretty hard, you just want to go out there and do everything you can to win.
“We know how desperate we were at that stage and we know they’re going to be the same.”
Eels v Wests Tigers
The Eels will celebrate their 75th anniversary at the game on Monday as they look to break a 36-year drought this season with their first title since 1986.
After Eels coach Brad Arthur declared the club were better placed than ever in March, a 4-1 start to the season may have him a bit more relaxed but Gutherson said they’d been in a similar spot before.
“I don’t think the pressure is off, whoever is at this club has a lot of pressure on them,” Gutherson said.
“Brad over the last eight years has really grown and made himself relax a bit more. I don’t know if that’s us playing better footy or whatever it is.
“We love coming into training, it’s not a chore and you don’t feel it’s too much of a job. You want to come in and try and get better to help the team.
“It’s a great feel at the moment and we’ve got to keep repeating that each week, it will go a long way.”
Both Gutherson and Nathan Brown agreed that halves Dylan Brown and Mitchell Moses had played a huge part in their early form.
“Mitch is a key player in the team and his maturity this season has gone to another level,” Brown said.
“You can see it in his footy, he’s directing us around and playing awesome footy. He’s playing some relaxed footy and his talent comes off the back of that.
“He does some freakish stuff but also leads us around and gets us to where we need to.”