05/03/2024

Clint Gutherson and the Parramatta Eels are raring to go for finals. Photo (@TheParraEels/Twitter)

Theres no excuses for the Parramatta Eels as they prepare to face the Newcastle Knights in a do or die elimination final on Sunday.

The Parramatta Eels are looking to bounce back from the sides 40-6 loss over the Panthers in the elimination final against the Newcastle Knights.

The Eels have made four out of the last five finals series, but the finals haven’t gone to plan, and they are looking to turn that around come Sunday afternoon.

Parramatta captain Clint Gutherson said that his side is fully focused on the task at hand as they turn their attention to the Knights

“Obviously the last few years haven’t gone the way we wanted it to go but you’ve got to go into every single finals series with the same mentality of winning the whole thing,” Gutherson said.

“We’re preparing as well as we can and we started our prep yesterday for Newcastle, that’s all we’re focused on this week, getting it right for Newcastle and we’re at do or die now so we’ve got to make sure we switch on every single week.”

Having rested many of their first-choice players last week against the Panthers, including Gutherson. There will be no excuses for the Eels going into finals.

“A lot of those boys that had the week off played a lot of footy this year and big minutes. Whenever you can get a rest, especially the bigger boys like Junior [Paulo] and those guys especially playing Origin really helps them.

“I think everyone bounced into yesterday’s session with a lot of confidence and feeling fresh and that’s what where you want to be feeling now.

“We’re all raring to go and all the boys who got a rest go the most out of it. So no excuse leading into the finals.”

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The Eels haven’t had an ideal lead up to the finals losing five out of the last seven games including four consecutive losses but Gutherson said that the pleasing thing about that period is the way the side came out the other side.

“I’ve said it for multiple times through that period, it didn’t seem like we were too far away. Some people thought we were sort of dreaming there but we proved a few people wrong.”

“It wasn’t our best footy and we’ve come out the other side which is a positive. Losing sucks especially the way we did it really hurt us.

“You don’t want to feel like that for another month of footy, so we’ve got to go out there fully focused against Newcastle and it’s do or die now and we don’t want to be out yet, we’ve got to make sure we’re on our game.

Despite the loss last weekend against Penrith, the mood around the club is good with Gutherson saying that his side got what they needed out of that game.

“The mood is really good, obviously we got exactly what we wanted out of the game against Penrith, a lot of us got rested.

“We just wanted the boys to go out there and do a lot of the little things right and with intent and we were right in it until the 60-minute mark and then we had nobody really left on the bench that wasn’t a back so we got exactly what we needed.

“If you’re not up for this time of year you’re not in it for the right reasons, so we’re raring to go for Newcastle.”

The Parramatta Eels will face Newcastle on Sunday afternoon at Browne Park, Rockhampton.

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