Wests Tigers’ winning record over Parramatta will mean nothing in Easter Monday’s NRL showdown at ANZ Stadium, says coach Jason Taylor.
The Tigers have won seven of their past nine matches dating back to the beginning of 2010.
But with Taylor only joining the club at the end of last year, he’s yet to lead them against the Eels – whom he briefly coached in 2006.
“(It means) absolutely nothing,” he said when asked on Sunday about the record.
Both teams are chasing their third win of 2015, but are coming off very different results last Friday.
The Eels stunned defending premiers South Sydney 29-16, while the Tigers suffered a heartbreaking one-point loss to Canterbury.
Taylor was without experienced campaigners Dene Halatau, Pat Richards and Aaron Woods, but all are in line to play on Monday.
“We’ve still got to play well with those guys out of the team – which we did last week – and we learnt a lot out of that game,” he said.
“(But) it is good to have those guys back in the team for this game.”
Taylor said he’d spent the week focusing on his side’s defence, given how fast-moving the Eels are.
“That’s Parramatta’s style – they’re really moving the ball around. It goes from one sideline to another really quickly,” he said.
“They’re playing a really entertaining brand of football; they’ve scored some really great tries this year; they’re really testing the opposition.
“Handling their forward pack and then their halves and ball movement is the biggest thing we’ve worked on.”
Parramatta coach Brad Arthur said he was thankful for the long 10-day turnaround between games, given the toll last Friday’s match took on the team.
“It’s given their bodies a bit of time to freshen up, and also allowed us to get a lot of work into the boys this week,” he said.
“So preparation should be at its peak – now we’ve got to take it onto the field.”
WESTS TIGERS V PARRAMATTA:
* The Tigers have won seven of their past nine matches against the Eels since the start of 2010
* A field goal has been kicked in five of the past six games between the two sides
* The Eels have struggled at ANZ Stadium the past few seasons, winning just one of their 16 fixtures since the beginning of 2011. Their last win there was round 14 last year
* Parramatta have scored 18 tries this season – only the Sydney Roosters (19) have had more – but struggle to break the line. Almost 80 per cent of their tries have come down the far left or right edge
* The Eels have scored 65 points in the second half this season – the second most in the league. The Tigers, on the other hand, have been poor in the final 20 minutes of their matches, managing a total of just five points