NRL cellar-dwellers out to avoid spoon - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

NRL cellar-dwellers out to avoid spoon

David Beniuk 21/08/2011 07:18:41 PM Comments (0)

It might not be an English soccer-style battle to avoid relegation, but the next two weeks will mean avoiding devastation for the NRL's cellar-dwellers.

Parramatta (15 points), Gold Coast and Canberra (both 16) are at the front line of the battle to avoid the wooden spoon, with the Eels-Titans clash at Skilled Park in round 26 a potential "grand final" for the unwanted prize.

The Eels crashed to dead last with Sunday's 31-12 loss to the Wests Tigers, their sixth straight and are in the fight of their lives to avoid finishing last for the first time since 1972.

"I'm the captain of a club that hasn't won the spoon in God knows how many years, a great club, of course I'd worry about getting the spoon," an emotional Nathan Hindmarsh said at the Sydney Football Stadium.

"I'm very determined and so is the team, no one wants to finish the season with the spoon.

"It starts again tomorrow, doesn't it?"

Parramatta face the Sydney Roosters on Friday night, just as Brian Smith's 2010 grand finalists have won consecutive games for the first time this year to move away from the danger zone on 20 points.

Canberra have tough games against Penrith (at home) and St George Illawarra (away), while the Titans face a virtual mission impossible against the Tigers next week before taking on the Eels.

Cronulla remain a highly improbable mathematical chance of picking up the spoon.

"It's heartbreaking for the group, disappointing for the group," Eels coach Stephen Kearney said.

"The last two-and-a-half months we're getting no reward for putting in a fair bit of effort.

"It's getting tougher but it has been a real credit to them."

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