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Eels wary of wounded Bunnies

Joe Barton 24/03/2011 08:06:47 PM Comments (0)

Seven days after being humbled by a fired-up Penrith, the Parramatta Eels are wary of getting ambushed by a wounded South Sydney in Friday's NRL clash.

The Panthers entered last weekend's upset victory after a week of heavy criticism following their meek loss to Newcastle in round one.

Eels skipper Nathan Hindmarsh admitted Penrith's big turnaround was a wake up call for the blue and golds.

Hindmarsh noted the similarities with South Sydney's dismal week, where the headlines have been dominated by star signing Greg Inglis' slow start to the year, out of sorts fullback Rhys Wesser's troubles and Sunday's late-game collapse leading to a loss to Canterbury.

"(I'm) always nervous coming up against teams who have copped a bit of flak, you don't know how they're going to approach it," Hindmarsh said on Thursday.

"Some teams go further downhill, other teams pep right up like Penrith did against us.

"It's another tough one this weekend, (South Sydney) aren't travelling the best and are copping a bit of stick from everyone, so they'll be coming out fired up I'd say.

"I think (the Penrith loss) was a bit of a wake-up call for us, so hopefully we'll come out ... and be prepared to cop a few on the chin."

Star fullback Jarryd Hayne expected both Souths and Inglis to come out with redemption on their minds at ANZ Stadium - but admitted the Eels can consider themselves in the same boat this time around.

"It's the same situation (as with Penrith), they've come off a bad loss but the thing is we've come off a bad loss as well," he said.

"The full 17 of us were all disappointed in our efforts and we critiqued a couple of things but nothing major, so I think we'll be out to prove a point as well.

"... (Inglis) is (important to shut down), he's obviously going to want to come out and want to prove a point and play his best footy.

"It's something that we're obviously going to talk about but I think mainly we've just got to worryabout ourselves and get our own backyard right."

And while Inglis, Wesser and the misfiring halves combination of Chris Sandow and John Sutton have worn the bulk of the criticism for Souths' struggles, Hindmarsh believes the match will be won in the forwards.

Souths entered 2011 boasting one of the most intimidating packs on paper, but have since lost second-rower Sam Burgess (shoulder) for six weeks and prop Scott Geddes (Achilles) for the season, while second-rower Dave Taylor has been hit and miss.

"They are missing some but they've still got a great forward pack I think," Hindmarsh said.

"I daresay it's going to be won in the forwards, where the majority of games are won. We're expecting a big game from our big boys."

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