Hannant tips Origin-style Eels encounter - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Hannant tips Origin-style Eels encounter

By Steve Jancetic 25/09/2009 02:16:10 PM Comments (0)

Bulldogs prop Ben Hannant says he is anticipating a ferocious State of Origin-style opening to Friday night's NRL preliminary final against arch-rivals Parramatta.

The Bulldogs and the Eels will put it all on the line with a spot in next week's grand final up for grabs, and Hannant says the high stakes will ensure both sides come out firing.

Brisbane set the platform for their upset semi-final win over minor premiers St George Illawarra last weekend with a fiery opening in which they bashed the Dragons forwards into submission, and Hannant is predicting a similar onslaught on Friday night.

"Semi-final football is very much like Origin, it's all about completing your sets, it's all about aggressive football, kicking long, hoping for an error and taking your opportunities - it's exactly like Origin footy," Hannant said.

"We saw Brisbane come out with their defence and I'm sure Parramatta will come out like that and we'll be like that."

Adding to the intensity will be the huge crowd on hand at ANZ Stadium match for the local derby clash, with more than 70,000 tickets snapped up by Thursday afternoon.

Fine conditions in Sydney on Friday are expected to see the match go close to be a sell-out, with just on 10,000 tickets still remaining.

"It does have a big impact on the way you play, to be able to run out there and just get the chills up your back," Hannant said.

"And with a majority of Bulldogs supporters behind you and really hoping that you do well, it definitely gets you more hyped up and ready for that physical battle."

A decision on whether Parramatta five-eighth Daniel Mortimer plays will not be made until just before kick-off, with the rookie still struggling to overcome a hip injury.

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