Mateo ready to go as Eels five-eighth - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Mateo ready to go as Eels five-eighth

21/09/2009 07:22:14 PM Comments (0)

Parramatta standby five-eighth Feleti Mateo is ready to take the Eels reins from Daniel Mortimer if the exciting rookie is ruled out of Friday's NRL preliminary final against the Bulldogs at ANZ Stadium.

Mortimer is in a heart-wrenching race to recover from a hip pointer injury sustained early in the Eels' 27-2 semi-finals victory over Gold Coast on Friday night.

The 20-year-old star will be given until game day to prove his fitness.

Replacement No.6 Mateo scored the match-turning try against the Titans and was backing himself to give an even better performance against the Bulldogs, should he get the opportunity.

Tonga-born Mateo admitted on Monday his game day nerves are at their worst when he's sitting on the bench and being in the run-on side would give him added spark.

"I've had to work on nerves for the last month or so being on the bench waiting to get on the field," Mateo said.

"I think I've hopefully got it under control, if I have to start I think it might be better for me, just to get that first touch or that first tackle it will help me.

"Hopefully (Mortimer) can play, fingers crossed for him if he can, but if I have to play at six then I'd be more than happy to."

Rugby league prodigy Mortimer said he is doing everything to speed up his recovery so he can take his place in the highly-anticipated clash against the Bulldogs, where his father Peter and uncles Chris and Steve played.

Mortimer was still unable to run and wouldn't know whether he would be fit to play until Thursday night.

"Doing physio and non-stop icing but I'll do everything I can to get back out there," Mortimer said.

"The night after (the doctor) just said the next 24 hours is crucial and stay up as long as you can.

"So I stayed up until 3.30am and got up at 6am and got on (ice).

"I really want to play this game so I'll do everything I can."

Mortimer said he didn't care about how much pain he was in prior to Friday's clash.

"I can do injections and stuff for pain, so pain is not really an issue, it's whether I get full movement and full speed out of it," he said.

"You can't help every now and again just to kind of jog on the spot to see how it is going.

"I'm a pretty quick healer, I can see myself out there this weekend but it's up to the doctors and the physio and the rest of the club to make that decision as well."

The Bulldogs earned a week off after beating Newcastle in the opening week of the finals and will have halfback Brett Kimmorley back from a fractured cheekbone which has kept him out past month.

The Eels have clashed with fierce rivals the Bulldogs twice this season with each team picking up a win.

The Bulldogs scored a comprehensive 48-18 win early in April before the Eels came out on top 27-9 in July, part of their seven-match winning streak to finish off the season.

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