In what is sure to now present a more fiery clash then before, following comments from Panthers centre Michael Jennings, that he hates the Eels and what they represent.
“I don’t hate the Parramatta players, just the team they represent,” said Jennings.
“If you come through the Penrith juniors, you’re brought up to hate Parra. That’s how I was brought up and I’m sure it’s still going on.”
Jennings, who twinged his hamstring at training yesterday is not the only player to think this, with boom prop Tim Grant feeling the exact same way.
“You’re always bred to be passionate about your jersey,” Grant said.
“Parramatta are the closest team to us, so it’s us versus them.”
In response, Eels prop Tim Mannah refused to buy into the argument, as he is in the firing line being a prop in the NRL, and that is just not something he wants to get involved with.
“It’s easy for Jenko to say what he likes because he’s not getting bashed in the middle,” Mannah said.
“So I don’t want to say anything because I’ll get smashed.
“I’m actually Jenko’s age. We played against each other a fair bit growing up. A lot of us went to school together and played against each other, so there’s always been bragging rights.”
The comments are sure to add extra spice to a contest that both teams in the West are eager to win to get the bragging rights heading into the season.