Bulldogs & Eels ready to resume hostilities
An age old rivalry resumes on Friday night when the Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs face an away fixture against the Parramatta Eels at ANZ Stadium.by NRL
An age old rivalry resumes on Friday night when the Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs face an away fixture against the Parramatta Eels at ANZ Stadium.
Both sides are nearing must win status with the Bulldogs claiming just one win from their past five matches, while Parramatta sit last on the competition ladder with just one win from eight starts so far this year.
But records will count for little when the two teams take to ANZ Stadium on Friday.
"They're going a lot better than results suggest," Bulldogs head coach Des Hasler said of the Eels, who scored thirty points in the dying stages of their last match, a 31-30 defeat at the hands of the Wests Tigers.
"These are always good local derbies, they're expecting a really big crowd again at ANZ.
"(As a team) We just can't afford to be worrying about who we're playing, it's a matter of us turning up and doing the same thing, keeping up the intensity levels we've been working hard at.
"It's probably just one of those games where we just want to win. For a lot of reasons."
Hasler says while the side has only won one out of it's last five encounters, there's been enough shown - particularly in the last two games - to suggest better times are ahead.
"We've been close and we've been more than competitive," he added. "I said this a couple of weeks ago, we need to start turning those displays into victories
"While we've been competitive we haven't been getting the two points at the end of the day. We need to put some wins on the board.
"But in saying that, we're not panicking, we're happy with where we're at, but at the same time we've got to start converting a few of the games we've been competitive in."
A six point loss to Melbourne followed by a two point loss to Manly suggests that Hasler's determination to see the Bulldogs get into the grind is working.
Goal line defence has been a feature of this Bulldogs side, which has only given away four tries in consecutive rounds against two of the competition heavyweights.
For Hasler, it's a pleasing sign.
"I thought we could have won both our past two games," he says. "The other side has only scored 12 points, one was 12-10, one was 12-6. That would suggest to me tight hard games."
In team news, Tim Lafai moves into the Bulldogs side in place of Steve Turner, who is out for the season after rupturing a patella tendon in the loss to Manly. Lafai will start in the centres with Jono Wright moving to the wing.
For Parramatta, Chris Sandow returns after a one week stint in the NSW Cup, having been named on the interchange bench.
Friday's game kicks off at 7.35pm at ANZ Stadium.
Click here to see the other rivalry tonight between brothers Kris and Matt Keating
PARRAMATTA v CANTERBURY
Fri 04/05/12, ANZ Stadium, 7.30pm
Referees: Ashley Klein, Brett Suttor
Sideline Officials: Paul Holland, Jason Walsh
Video Referee: Sean Hampstead
Parramatta: 1 Jarryd Hayne, 2 Luke Burt, 3 Ryan Morgan, 4 Willie Tonga, 5 Ken Sio, 6 Ben Roberts, 7 Casey McGuire, 8 Tim Mannah, 9 Matthew Keating, 10 Matt Ryan, 11 Nathan Hindmarsh [c], 12 Joseph Paulo, 13 Reni Maitua. Subs: 14 Chris Sandow, 15 Fuifui Moimoi, 16 Justin Poore, 17 Mitchell Allgood.
Canterbury: 1 Ben Barba, 2 Jonathan Wright, 3 Josh Morris, 4 Tim Lafai, 5 Bryson Goodwin, 6 Josh Reynolds, 7 Kris Keating, 8 Aiden Tolman, 9 Michael Ennis [c], 10 Sam Kasiano, 11 Frank Pritchard, 12 Dene Halatau, 13 Greg Eastwood. Subs: 14 James Graham, 15 David Stagg, 16 Corey Payne, 17 Joel Romelo, 20 Martin Taupau (one to be omitted).
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