It may only be May but Parramatta’s NRL grand final has come five months early.
That’s the mindset for Eels prop Danny Wicks, who knows the under-siege club now need to win 12 of their remaining 14 matches if they are to make this year’s finals.
The Eels were a fortnight ago provisionally stripped all 12 of their accumulated points this season as part of a heavy sanction for breaching the salary cap.
And after a heartbreaking defeat to South Sydney last week, their chances of featuring in post-season football have taken a further hit still.
“It’s pretty well publicised isn’t it, we’ve got to win 12 of our next 14 to play semis. We can’t lost another one from this point on,” Wicks said on Tuesday.
“It’s a grand final for us this week, and we’ve got to bring the two points home. If we want to be there in the semis, we need to win games.”
With so much at stake, Wicks admitted he took the loss against the Rabbitohs harder than most of his teammates.
It wasn’t his best night out as he turned the ball over three times, including one at a vital moment.
The 30-year-old said he wasn’t an emotional player, but cut a frustrated figure against the Rabbitohs.
“It’s something I struggled with over the last couple of days,” he said.
“Anyone would think that I had a bet on Souths, but it’s one percenters that win you the game and it hurts. We’ve just got to turn it around.”
Skipper Kieran Foran was again missing from training on Tuesday, but has yet to be ruled out from returning in time to take on the Storm.
Five-eighth Corey Norman said he was unsure whether he would have his halves partner back for the clash.
“Brad hasn’t said anything but I’m sure if he finds something out, he’ll let us know. It’s only early in the week and we don’t play until Monday. He’s got a bit more time,” Norman said.
“I let him clear his head and get right and when he comes back to training, we can have a chat then or whatever. But I’ll just let him do his thing.”