Billy Slater has urged Parramatta to stick to their guns, and not to be dragged into a slugfest against Penrith, if they want to taste grand final glory.
“They’ve got to attack their game. I’m very, very sure that’s what they’ve got to do,” Slater told Wide World of Sports.
“If they go and try to beat Penrith at the suffocating, pressure-building game? Well, Penrith are the best team in the competition at doing that.”
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Although Parramatta were well beaten in the first week of the finals, they ran up a score against the Panthers late in the regular season – albeit Penrith were down a man for most of the game – while also edging out a close fixture back in May.
In both of those wins, Parramatta scored more than 20 points.
Only once this year have Penrith conceded more than 20 and still won, in round 23 against Souths. And even then, they needed a try in the final seconds to secure victory.
Slater said that if Penrith are allowed to do what they normally do – get on top and grind their way through a contest – the Eels are no chance.
“They’ve been at the top of their game for three years now,” he said.
“It’s going to be very hard for Parramatta to go set-for-set and out-pressure their opposition this weekend.”
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But the Eels showed last week that they can score points with limited opportunities if they chance their arm, coming out of Townsville with a win despite recording less than ten play-the-balls inside the Cowboys’ 20m line.
“I saw them play live against Canberra two weeks’ ago and I was very impressed with their style, and the way they used the football,” Slater said.
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The Eels are loaded with attacking talent, and will surely fancy their chances in a shootout.
“I think that’s what they’ve got to go and get – and if they don’t attack their game, they’ll probably have regrets,” Slater said.
“There’s no second chances in this.
“There’s 80 minutes, and if you don’t get it right, and don’t have a go in those 80 minutes, who knows when it’s going to come around again?”
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