Sport NRL 2020: Phil Gould warns Manly could expose NRL premiership contenders Parramatta in Round 4 blockbuster

21:40  03 june  2020
21:40  03 june  2020 Source:   sportingnews.com

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They are one of just two unbeaten teams and considered genuine premiership contenders in 2020 – but Phil Gould believes the Parramatta Eels could face a major reality check against a ‘roughhouse’ Manly side on Saturday night.

After scraping past Canterbury 8-2 in Round 1, Brad Arthur’s men belted Gold Coast 46-6 and made another statement with a 34-6 romp over Brisbane in the season relaunch last Thursday.

The Eels’ won their first three games in their previous three premiership-winning seasons in the 1980s and the inevitable talk of a first title in 34 years has already begun.

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But two-time premiership-winning coach Gould has openly questioned the Eels’ credentials ahead of their Round 4 grudge match against Des Hasler’s men.

“This is a game that might tell us whether Parramatta are serious or not,” Gould told The Six Tackles with Gus podcast on Wide World of Sports.

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“If Parramatta have got their heads in the clouds because they’ve had these wins, played a bit of good footy and scored some tries, they are not going to get that latitude against Manly.

“This is going to be an in-your-face-type experience for them and it will be very interesting to see how Parramatta deal with this.

“Now if you remember at the back end of last year they won their semi-final (against the Broncos) 58-0 and went down to Melbourne the next week and got beat 32-0.

“And that’s Parramatta, that’s where they were last year – when things are going good they can tear you apart but when you stand up to them and you don’t get the space they want and with your attack you’re actually attacking them … and Manly won’t be backward in that regard.”

The sixth-placed Sea Eagles are coming off a 32-6 thumping of lowly Canterbury and are themselves expected to play finals football this season.

“I’m going to tip Manly, I just think there’s a little bit of roughhouse about them that I’m yet to see from Parramatta,” Gould added.

“… Addin Fonua-Blake, Martin Tapau, Joel Thompson, Curtis Sironen, Jake Trbojevic – these fellas have got blood in their nostrils and they’re not going over there to watch Parramatta play fancy – let me tell you.

“.. This is a roughhouse mob, they’re not going to take any prisoners, look, there’ll be fur everywhere.

“Parramatta Eels, I’m putting you on notice, Manly is coming to get you. They’re going to be right in your face.

“Now, Parramatta might just go zing, zing, zing, run around them and lead 20-0 … but if Parramatta think they’re going to finesse their way through this one they are in for a rude shock.”

Gus unleashes on NRL referees' biggest problem .
League great Phil Gould has unloaded on NRL referees for focusing too much on tries that could be disallowed on the margins.Gould's comments came after a controversial play late in Manly's defeat against Parramatta, where a last-minute Sea Eagles try was disallowed due to a pass from Trbojevic being ruled forward prior to Rueben Garrick crossing the try line.

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