Huge challenge for Warriors to upset high-flying Eels

By Te Ao - Māori News

The Warriors have it all to do against the high-flying Paramatta Eels this Sunday in Brisbane.

The Eels have only lost one of their previous nine games this season, a 26-12 home defeat to the Dragons, and sit a healthy second on the table, only two points behind the undefeated Penrith Panthers who lead the competition. 

The Eels come into the game after whipping the Roosters 31-18 last weekend. 

The Warriors, on the other hand, had a roller coaster of a performance last outing, leading 20-12 over Manly at the break before collapsing in the second spell to trail 36-20, only to charge back to life and ultimately lose 38-32. 

The upshot is that the Warriors now lay ninth on the table, just outside the top eight, with four wins and five losses.

All the talk in the Australian media in the lead into the game has been about the debut of Eels coach Brad Arthur's son, Jake Arthur, who the players asked the coach to present the first team jersey to during the week.

"It's good that I feel comfortable enough with this group that we've got and how tight that this group is that I got emotional and the boys really appreciated it. I gave him a cuddle, proud of him," the Eels coach said.

There were also the usual mind games before a big match after the Eels sought an exemption to the NRL's Covid-19 protocols to allow them to pick four players who had been involved in matches outside the team's Covid-19 biosecurity bubble.

Warriors coach Nathan Brown was quick to remind the media of the sacrifices his players have made.

“All I know is that as a club, these guys have made more sacrifices than anyone. That’s not including myself because I wasn’t there last year, and I haven’t had to leave my country," nrl.com reported.

“I think as a club this club has made more sacrifices than anyone else and if everyone makes them it is probably fair, but that’s the way it is."