Melbourne to face stormy Eels reception - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Melbourne to face stormy Eels reception

By Ian McCullough 02/06/2010 04:28:40 PM Comments (0)

Nathan Hindmarsh has warned Melbourne players to brace themselves for a rough ride from Parramatta fans during Friday's NRL grand final rematch.

The Eels lost 23-16 in last season's final to a Storm side that was $700,000 over the salary cap, and Hindmarsh is expecting the home supporters to give the Storm a hostile reception at Parramatta Stadium.

Eels chief executive Paul Osborne has offered extra security to Melbourne ahead of the game, a move that was rejected by the club who were stripped of their two grand final victories and three minor premierships due to the salary cap breaches.

Osborne also made the point of warning Eels fans to behave themselves and show respect to the fallen champions, a move backed by his co-captain.

"I hope we get a decent crowd, I hope we don't get the booing, but I think we will get a lot of that," Hindmarsh said.

"I don't think it will bother them though, they have copped it at Canberra and I am sure they have heard it all before.

"But our fans are pretty passionate, I hope it is a good atmosphere and can help lift us.

"The Storm are still playing good football, they haven't turned their toes up and are making it as difficult as possible for teams to beat them."

Hindmarsh also warned his teammates not to think they can replicate last year's stunning run of form as they look to get their season back on track.

The pre-season title favourites slipped out of the top eight after last Friday's 30-0 humbling by St George Illawarra at Kogarah, a game that came on the back of a shock defeat at home to lowly Cronulla.

Although Hindmarsh is adamant the Eels are still good enough for a top-four finish he said they should not look back to the second-half of last season where they won seven of their last eight games to sneak into the finals, before going on to reach the grand final.

"I think we got them (Melbourne) about the same time last year just after Origin and beat them and that helped us get back on track," he said.

"But we are not expecting that to happen ... where we just think we can rely on getting results ... which is why the last two weeks have been very disappointing for us.

"We are not far off clicking we showed that against the Bulldogs and then Manly who were in good form and we can play better than we have recently."

"We just played silly against Cronulla and against the Dragons, which wasn't really a 30-0 loss ... we went close a few times and they scored a couple of late scrappy tries."

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