Parramatta are on the cusp of cracking finals football for the first time in eight years but say we’ve yet to see the best of them this NRL season.
Going into this week’s bye, the Eels have opened up a two-win gap over the chasing Penrith and Warriors, who face off at Mt Smart Stadium on Friday night.
The loser of that clash will be able to begin booking tickets to Bali for the first week in September, while the Eels require just two more wins to make the 28-point mark which has traditionally proven the finals cut-off.
With their side looking more and more assured of returning to the top eight for the first time since Jarryd Hayne piloted them to the 2009 grand final, the blue and gold army are dreaming they can go deep into the finals.
“We’re in a decent position in terms of where we sit this season but we’re definitely not getting complacent,” Eels skipper Tim Mannah said.
“We’ve got seven really important games ahead of us before the end of the regular season and we want to make sure we really attack them.
“I feel like we’re getting good results and getting wins but we haven’t played the footy I know we can. The players know we’ve got a lot of improvement left in us.”
The representative period is often a danger time of year for the top sides, however the Eels, who don’t have a single Queensland or NSW player in their squad, are 5-1 since State of Origin I.
Also, in this period they were drawn to take on St George Illawarra and Melbourne, who were heavily affected by the Origin player drain, in weeks during which Maroons and Blues players were unavailable.
“We set goals for ourselves and the last five-week block was definitely a good one for us,” Mannah said.
“We’ve had the best results we can over the last few weeks. It’s great to have the bye now, we can reassess, recover and get ready to attack the last chunk.”