Eels can win without me, says Cayless - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Eels can win without me, says Cayless

By Todd Balym 01/10/2009 04:07:26 PM Comments (0)

Parramatta skipper Nathan Cayless believes the Eels can win the NRL premiership with or without him as he continues to fight a race against time to be fit for Sunday's decider.

Cayless remains "positive" he can overcome the slight hamstring strain and pass a fitness test on Saturday, coach Daniel Anderson unwavering in his "blow or go" ultimatum for the captain.

"He will do a fitness test and he will either blow his hammy again or he will play on Sunday," said Anderson at the team's final press conference on Thursday.

Rookie Broderick Wright remains on standby for Cayless, who said he was preparing as if he would play against Melbourne.

But after watching his teammates dismantle the Bulldogs for 71 minutes after he limped off last week, Cayless has full faith the Eels can repeat the performance with the Storm.

"Obviously I will be very relieved if I get to play on Sunday but if it's not to be then the boys will play well enough as a team to be able to get the job done," said Cayless.

"They pretty much did the job last weekend. I only played five minutes and they were good enough to do the job.

"At this stage, it's all about the team and what every player contributes to the team.

"The team has worked too hard to get to this position and Melbourne are a too good a team to take anyone out there who is off after 10 minutes.

"I'm very positive about playing and that is the way I'll prepare this week, as if I am playing."

Fellow veteran Nathan Hindmarsh said he would have mixed feelings if he were to receive the trophy as stand-in captain, knowing his close friend and teammate of more than 12 years had missed the game through injury.

"Not having Nathan out there will be very disappointing for the team and myself," said Hindmarsh.

"It would be even worse if we were to win the game and he was not part of that. The celebrations couldn't be as big as what we would want it to be.

"It will be huge (if he can play). He has been in great form through the season."

Anderson, meanwhile, has predicted a dour grand final, highlighting the strong defensive efforts of both clubs throughout the finals series.

Parramatta have conceded just one try in the second half of their three finals clashes, while the Storm have yet to concede any first-half points in their two wins.

"I think both teams will testify their defence has been the reason why we've progressed to the point of the competition we have," said Anderson.

"We will need to be good in defence. They are a miserly team in giving points up when you play against them.

"I'm not sure it's going to be a high-scoring grand final.

"I think both teams are ready to dig in for a scrap if they have to."

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