Fear of Eels unknown a worry for Dragons - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Fear of Eels unknown a worry for Dragons

By Steve Jancetic 29/08/2008 07:31:40 PM Comments (0)

There are some things you can just bank on out Parramatta way - like Nathan Hindmarsh throwing his battered body around for 40-odd tackles and Brett Finch running out in the No.7 jumper.

But while Hindmarsh is likely to come up with yet another herculean defensive effort against St George Illawarra on Saturday night, Finch won't be there to add his nous - and mouth - to the cause.

It will be the first time this year the Eels will take to the field without their chief puppeteer there to pull the strings, and it has the Dragons fearing the unknown.

"Finchy's a big loss to them, I don't think anyone can steer away from that fact," Dragons skipper Mark Gasnier said.

"There hasn't too many times that I can remember Brett hasn't been a part of their team and he is the spearhead of their attack.

"He's very vocal and one of their main motivators, but as a desperate team, I'm sure there'll be a lot of them willing to step up."

The man the Eels will be looking to step up is Kris Keating, the 19-year-old playmaker with just seven top grade games under his belt.

Each of those seven games has been alongside Finch, where Keating has been able to go about his business largely unnoticed, but with Parramatta's season on the line the local junior will need to fire.

"I wouldn't imagine Parramatta's going to go out and try and do a lot of things drastically different, it's hard to change things at this stage of the year," Dragons coach Nathan Brown said.

"In these times other good players are born and it's our job to make sure that young Kris' best game is not this week, the same with Feleti (Mateo), hopefully we can do some things to nullify them a little bit and then next week they can come good."

Unfortunately for the Eels, next week will be too late if they don't come up with the goods on Saturday night, a loss ending their faint finals and bring to an end a season of underachievement.

The NRL ladder is providing motivation for the Dragons as well, the joint venture club capable of finishing anywhere from fourth to outside the eight with two regular season games remaining.

Two wins against quality opposition in Brisbane and the New Zealand Warriors over the past fortnight has lifted the confidence within the squad, but they know the job is not done yet with the Dragons desperate to avoid finishing seventh or eighth, which would probably result in a sudden-death showdown with either Manly or Melbourne.

South Sydney cas-off Ben Rogers will get another chance to press for a run in the finals when he fills in for injured five-eighth Jamie Soward, who will miss his third straight game with a back injury.

Brought to you by AAP AAP © 2020 AAP

0 Comments about this article

Post a comment about this article

Please sign in to leave a comment.
Becoming a member is free and easy, sign up here.

« All sports news