Eels set for battle, not revenge: Reddy - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Eels set for battle, not revenge: Reddy

By Ian McCullough 03/06/2010 07:10:29 PM Comments (0)

It may be a rematch of last year's NRL grand final, but Parramatta centre Joel Reddy insists the Eels are more focused on ending a poor run of form, than seeking revenge against Melbourne on Friday.

The two sides will meet for the first time since last October's showpiece in Sydney, where the Storm prevailed 23-16 with a side that was found to be $700,000 over the salary cap.

The NRL's decision to impose heavy penalties against the Storm, including stripping them of their 2009 and 2007 titles, left many Eels fans believing they should have been awarded their first premiership since 1986.

A hot reception is sure to await the Storm when they arrive at Parramatta Stadium and Reddy hopes the atmosphere can work in favour of the hosts, who have slipped out of the top eight after two successive defeats.

"I know going to an away game, whether it is cheering or booing, it lifts you, so hopefully they are cheering more for us than booing them and the crowd is more on our side than being against the Storm," Reddy told AAP.

"Parramatta fans have always been quick to show their frustration if we are not playing well, but that is a good thing as well.

"They have high expectations and it is a good thing as we have to strive to be at our best whenever we play and can't be complacent."

The two sides have enjoyed some titanic tussles in recent years, with the Storm coming out on top in three finals meetings since 2006.

However, the Eels did beat Craig Bellamy's side in this corresponding fixture last season, a result that kick-started their stunning march to the grand final.

And Reddy said Friday is shaping up as the most important game of the season.

"For us, we really need the points otherwise we will be heading into the bye on the back of three losses," he said.

"We also need to beat a side that is playing well to get some confidence going into the back end of the season.

"Melbourne are still one of the best sides around and having nothing to play for makes them more dangerous."

"Even when they turn the ball over they can put it behind them pretty quickly as they know they are not playing for points.

"And because of this they can play entertaining footy, and when they do that they are a very dangerous side."

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