Ex-Parramatta rake Nathan Peats is probably breathing a sigh of relief after leaving the Eels, Gold Coast teammate Chris McQueen admits.
Peats will line up for the second time this year against his former NRL club on the Gold Coast on Saturday but McQueen reckons the ex-Eels hooker is only now truly appreciating his move north.
Pre-season wooden spoon favourites the Gold Coast aim to break a six-year finals drought after moving into the top eight with last round’s 32-12 thrashing of St George Illawarra.
In contrast, the Eels have lurched from one controversy to another in 2016.
In May, Peats reluctantly joined the Titans when he was cut loose by Parramatta to ensure the besieged club became salary cap compliant and could play for points this year.
But asked if Peats was now glad he got out of Parramatta, Titans backrower McQueen said: “In hindsight with everything that is going on now it is probably good to be away from that sort of stuff.
“He’s a great player, probably one of the most competitive players I have played with – he hates losing.”
Parramatta’s slim finals hopes were all but ended by last round’s 22-18 loss at Penrith.
Not that McQueen was taking the embattled Eels for granted this weekend.
“They seem to be doing a pretty good job to block out everything that is going on there,” McQueen said of the Eels.
“They have been one of the most competitive sides all year.
“They have nothing to lose after everything that has happened to them this year.
“We have to show up ready to play.”
Gold Coast’s finals hopes may rest on their next three games – all at home.
Besides the Eels, the Titans also host Cronulla and the Warriors.
Their run to the finals is completed by Wests Tigers (away), Newcastle (away), Penrith (home) and reigning premiers North Queensland (away).
“We have three games at home which is good but we have to win every game for the rest of the season to maintain our spot in the eight – we are not getting ahead of ourselves,” McQueen said.