Coach Mick Potter says Monday’s NRL clash with Parramatta will be a huge test for his side with skipper Robbie Farah out injured.
Wests Tigers coach Mick Potter says Monday afternoon’s mouth-watering NRL clash with Parramatta will be a true test of his rejuvenated side’s strength in depth.
A crowd of over 40,000 are expected at ANZ Stadium for the western Sydney derby, with both teams proudly boasting 4-2 records after being tipped in the pre-season to battle it out for the wooden spoon.
Like the Eels, Potter’s Tigers have won their last three games but the joint-venture will be without inspirational skipper Robbie Farah who dislocated his elbow against North Queensland last week.
Experienced back-rower Liam Fulton is also a major doubt with a foot injury and brilliant young fullback James Tedesco is still out with a long-term ankle problem.
And Potter knows his side will be up against it against a confident Eels outfit.
“Robbie is a big loss, he’s our captain and our leader,” Potter told AAP on Sunday.
“Joel Luani has been going very well at NSW Cup level and when he filled in last year he pleasantly surprised all of us. I know he’ll let no-one down.”
The Eels have bounced superbly from their 56-4 round two humiliation by the Sydney Roosters, going down narrowly at Manly then winning in Brisbane and at home to Penrith.
But their 14-12 success over the Roosters last week was their most eye-catching performance.
“Even when they lost in round two you could see they were on the right track,” Potter said.
“They’re a side who like to offload and that can really hurt you.
“Then there’s the left and right-footed kicking combination of Jarryd Hayne and Chris Sandow makes them hard to defend against.
“They’re also in a confident mood at the moment and that makes them dangerous.
“This game will be a real test for us.”