Jennings threat a worry for Eels - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Jennings threat a worry for Eels

By Steve Jancetic 04/07/2009 11:12:51 AM Comments (0)

Parramatta coach Daniel Anderson is a massive fan of Penrith centre Michael Jennings, but he has been left ruing the fact he'll get to watch the NSW Origin dynamo from the best seat in the house at CUA Stadium on Sunday afternoon.

"He's impressed me greatly every time he's played and it's a real shame that he's back this Sunday," Anderson said of Jennings, who this weekend returns from the calf strain that has ruled him out of the last three matches including the second game of the Origin series.

"He's now an Origin player - (those players) tend to have that capacity especially in the backs, they can create and deliver and that's probably the difference between an Origin player and a non-Origin player, they deliver consistently and he's learnt to do that this year.

"It's difficult to prepare specifically for Michael Jennings - he's very sharp and it means our centres are going to have some testing periods in the game."

Jennings, who has trained strongly all week, will have even more expectation placed on his shoulders than normal with representative team-mates Petero Civoniceva and Luke Lewis ruled out for extended periods with toe injuries.

Impressive halves Wade Graham and Luke Walsh will be called on to provide a little extra spark around the middle of the ruck, but it is Jennings who looms as the main obstacle for an Eels side buoyed by last week's win over Brisbane.

And that means a tough afternoon for Joel Reddy, who will mark up against the elusive flyer.

"He's not a bloke that you can tackle by yourself," Reddy conceded.

"You need a straight line and you need help from your inside and outside and I think we'll be able to do a job on him."

The Panthers are desperate to arrest a slide that has seen them lose their last two matches to premiership heavyweights Manly and the Bulldogs, while for the Eels, this match offers the chance for them to prove last week's win over the Broncos was no fluke as they look for just their second set of back-to-back wins for the season.

"Our confidence has been pretty good all year but morale obviously is boosted when you win games because you feel you're rewarded for the effort that you make at training," Anderson said.

"I can't fault the attitude or demeanour of our players this year.

"Other times when we've had opportunities to get back to back winning performances, our effort and fortitude in the game has been unquestioned - our execution has been off."

Parramatta duo Krisnan Inu and Joe Galuvao missed Friday training session with a bout of the flu, but both are expected to play, while the Panthers will line up as selected.

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