NRL finals pressure all on Parra: Green

Sep 15, 2017 - 5:30 AM Parramatta coach Brad Arthur says three decades of anticipation won't weigh the Eels down in this year's NRL finals series.

The only problem is his rival North Queensland coach Paul Green knows first-hand just how much is expected of the Eels heading into Saturday night's semi-final.

Parramatta will play their first home final in eight years against the Cowboys at ANZ Stadium, and are just three wins away from their first premiership since 1986.

And while Arthur doesn't want the occasion to get to his men, Green - a former Eel himself - is happy to remind Parramatta just how much pressure he believes is on them.

"They're probably certainties tomorrow night," Green said of the Eels' favouritism.

"There's no expectation on us. Parramatta have been the form team leading into the finals.

"They towelled the Broncos up up at Suncorp which isn't an easy thing to do and they took Melbourne to the wire last week.

"Western Sydney is a strong rugby league area and it's been a while since Parramatta have been in the finals."

Green is one of 368 players to have run out for the Eels since their last title - having played seven games for them in 2003.

The Eels missed the finals that year, but this is their 11th visit to September action since their last crown.

But Arthur won't use the fairytale drought-breaking narrative as a motivation to his players.

"Honestly it's not a priority for them," Arthur said.

"No disrespect but the boys don't even know half of that information.

"The priority is that it's a do-or-die game - it could be Semi (Radradra)'s last game - so we've got to prepare the best we can."

Arthur addressed the group about not letting the occasion of finals football get to them this week.

He saw signs of that in last week's loss to Melbourne, where they conceded six second-half penalties to let a lead slip.

"I thought our energy and intensity was great but sometimes maybe the emotion and the occasion got the better of us," Arthur said.

"We lacked a little bit of control at times with our aggression. Really, we paid the price of it.

"We've talked about it, we've addressed it but now we've got to do something about it."

Peni Terepo could replace forward Tepai Moeroa (concussion) in the Eels' 17, while hooker Cameron King (arm) is expected to play.

Meanwhile Cowboys centre Justin O'Neill trained on Friday and is a chance to beat an elbow injury to play.


* North Queensland have won eight of their past 11 against Parramatta.

* Parramatta have won 14 of 16 when scoring the first try this year.

* Semi Radradra has scored 23 tries in 26 games at ANZ Stadium.

Source: AAP

No one has shouted yet.
Be the first!