Momentum on Eels side

The Eels and Roosters may be massive underdogs heading into this weekend's semi-finals but they have one golden commodity in their favour and that's momentum.

Both were taken to wire in tense sudden-death clashes in week one before digging deep to keep their seasons alive.

The positive vibes will be coursing through the Roosters camp after their young superstar Sam Walker nailed a late field goal before they survived a desperate Titans raid to win 25-24.

After a season that could so easily have been derailed by injury, suspension and retirements, Trent Robinson's men keep finding a way. Belief will be sky-high.

The Eels sat fourth with a month to go but surrendered the double chance on the back of crushing defeats to Manly in round 22 and the Panthers in the final round, although they did end the Storm's 19-game winning run in some style in round 24.

After resting a host of stars in round 25 they were back to full strength against the Knights and showed plenty of good signs in a 28-20 win which set up a rematch with the Panthers.

With Mitchell Moses' running game back on song and Reagan Campbell-Gillard and Junior Paulo leading the way up front, the Eels will give themselves every chance of toppling a Panthers team down on confidence after a shock loss to the Rabbitohs.

Wayne Bennett's team did a superb job of neutralising Nathan Cleary and their forwards dominated the Penrith pack, and that's the blueprint the blue and golds will take into battle on Saturday.

During the past 12 years, the momentum factor from week one of the finals has carried four teams all the way to a grand final - North Queensland in 2017, Bulldogs 2014, Roosters 2010 and Eels 2009.

The Cowboys' charge in 2017 was made even more remarkable by the fact their main man Johnathan Thurston was absent from round 14 onwards with a shoulder injury. They finished eighth after losing five of their last six matches.

After edging past fifth-placed Sharks 15-14 in an elimination final they stunned the fourth-placed Eels 24-16 in the semis and second-placed Roosters 29-16 in the preliminary final to progress to the big dance against Melbourne.

It was a similar giant-killing run that took Canterbury from seventh at the end of the 2014 regular season to a grand final showdown with Souths, courtesy of wins over Melbourne, Manly and the Panthers.

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  • Momentum is so powerful.....ours is surging and my gut feeling is Penrith have gradually been coming off the boil and  I can see them shitting the bed when we apply the blow torch Sat night

    GO PARRA !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Given all the hype about Penrith, the pressure is definitely not on us - I have a good feeling about this game

    • Exactly Mick - they're not great when put under pressure - our big boys will really give us a platform - can't wait will be a bell ringer 

      • Agree Embers and we seem to deal with the pressure better when we are the underdogs 

    • As an Eels fan I'm always expecting to lose in controversial circumstances . I expect our season to go something along the lines of beating Penrith in the bravest performance of the year, only to have a few players put on report for minor infringements and then having to face Melbourne with a depleted squad . 

      • Spoiling the Panthers party would still make me smile going into the off season. 

      • Lol  its a roller-coaster of emotions being a eels fan, I reckon meeting souths in a GF would be huge a promoters dream - it's a long shot, anything is possible. 

  • It's just one game at a time for Parra, and that is exactly the right attitude. I'm sure Penrith have been eyeing off a Grand Final place for most of the year.

    We had a physical game last week, so hopefully the boys are right to get stuck in again this week.

  • I think the Panthers will be out to prove a point which makes me think this will be a hard game. 

  • This year there is a feeling that there could be an upset each and every week. I do think the Wayne Bennett and Adam Reynolds swan song is on the cards though. I am hoping Parra can do something, I will wait and see rather then have full faith though because I have been a Parra supporter my whole life and don't want to get my expectations to high because I know how it feels.

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