Eels need to spark big wins to challenge - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Eels need to spark big wins to challenge

By Todd Balym 08/06/2008 12:29:15 PM Comments (0)

The next month of football will decide Parramatta's fate in 2008 and forward star Nathan Hindmarsh says victories alone will not be enough.

The Eels need to start winning convincingly.

After claiming just their fifth win of the year with a 30-12 triumph over Canberra on Saturday night, the Eels are now ranked 11th at the midway point of the season but with a poor minus 38 points differential which could prove costly in the run to the finals.

The Eels play sixth-placed Wests Tigers (ANZ Stadium), eighth-placed Cronulla (Toyota Stadium), second-placed Melbourne (Parramatta Stadium) and seventh-placed Penrith (Parramatta Stadium) all in Sunday afternoon games over the coming month.

The Tigers, Sharks and Panthers are expected to be major rivals for the Eels in the battle for the top eight and knowing all three clubs have superior points differentials Hindmarsh says the Eels need to look to kick on for some big wins to boost their for and against record.

The fact all four games could be held in dry daytime conditions, rather than guaranteed evening dew, will boost Parramatta's chances given their ability to throw the ball around and score freely.

"It is very important for us to keep winning and we've got to start winning well because if we end up on the same points in around sixth, seventh or eighth spot it's going to come down to for and against and at the moment ours isn't looking too good," said Hindmarsh.

"So it's not the fact of just winning we need to win a bit more convincingly than what we have been doing.

"We have a big couple of weeks in front of us.

"They're all Sunday games too so we like to play in hopefully the dry ... that will be to our advantage, you might see a bit more out of us in the dry games."

After starting the year among the premiership fancies, Parramatta have largely disappointed this season, but the past fortnight seems to suggest the Eels could be ready for a mid-year surge.

Last week's entertaining loss to Brisbane showed glimpses of their dangerous best while last night's win over Canberra was easily their best defensive effort of 2008 as they conceded just 14 tackles all game - less than half their average of 31.7 this year.

Hindmarsh says the Eels are starting to rediscover the attitude which made them tough to beat in 2007.

"It hasn't turned the corner for us yet," he said of the win over the Raiders.

"Our defence in patches still needs improving but other than that our attack is almost back to where it should be."

Captain Nathan Cayless agreed, insisting the Eels still had many steps to take in order to be competitive this year.

"We need to keep working hard and keep improving," said Cayless.

"I still think we are a long way off from the top teams."

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