Monaghan 'pumped' for clash with Eels - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Monaghan 'pumped' for clash with Eels

By Todd Balym 06/06/2008 05:02:29 PM Comments (0)

Canberra centre Joel Monaghan plans to use his NSW State of Origin rejection as motivation to tear up the Eels in Saturday night's NRL clash at Parramatta Stadium.

Monaghan was given his marching orders from the Blues camp after spending four days with the squad as cover for injured Test star Mark Gasnier.

Jarryd Hayne's suspension had also given the Raiders flyer hope he'd claim a starting spot when Gasnier was ruled fit, but NSW coach Craig Bellamy opted for a specialist winger in his own Melbourne player Steve Turner.

"It is disappointing but I had a good week with the boys and I knew going in that I was on standby for Gasnier and fortunately for NSW he has come through alright," said Monaghan.

"You can't complain when you've got the best centre in the game ahead of you.

"(Winger) was a possibility as well and Craig said he was looking at both of us there and said he would speak to selectors and they went with someone who plays wing every week.

"The good thing is I have only got 24 hours before I get to go out there and have a game so I'm pretty pumped.

"I get to put things right tomorrow night and get out there and play for Canberra.

"The week I had was great and just makes you want to be a part of it even more."

Monaghan's missed opportunity with NSW is a blessing for the Raiders who are ranked 11th on the table and face the 12th-placed Eels with both sides desperate to win to keep in touch with the top eight.

The Raiders have lost four of their past five and their away record remains appalling, losing three straight on the road by an average of 18 points.

But Monaghan senses Parramatta is an ideal opportunity to bounce back to form as the Eels have lost two straight and developed a habit of going to sleep during games this year.

"We're struggling with form and struggling away from home more than ever so it's a big chance to get in there and not shut some people up but get some people off our back about winning away from home," he said.

"(Parramatta) are going through patches which is like most teams I think but ... we will be more concentrating on ourselves to get ourselves right because we're not going good enough to be thinking about anyone else.

"I think it is near must-win for both teams and has the makings of a really good match.

"If you look at their team they could explode any week now and go on a massive winning streak so we have to make sure it doesn't start tomorrow night."

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