Eels wary of a Panthers side 'down on confidence'
PARRAMATTA coach Brad Arthur is expecting a tough test at ANZ Stadium tonight against a Penrith side desperate for a win after three straight defeats.
"They are a very good team and were disciplined in their performance last week," Arthur said.
"The week before they were down some personnel and it went to golden point, so I don't think they are playing that bad.
"It's just a really good competition and a really tight competition and if you are not at your best and somebody else is, you are going to get beat.
"They are probably down a touch on confidence, but they are a very good team and you don't keep a very good team down for too long."
Bevan French is again absent with injury, so Clinton Gutherson will once more deputise in the fullback role with Brad Takairangi at five-eighth.
Arthur said he was happy with how the pair played in last week's come-from-behind win over the Wests Tigers.
"Takairangi and Gutherson did a good job," he said.
"They are NRL players and train every week, all throughout the pre-season, so you have to try and prepare for these situations.
"Takaz (Takairangi) is a footballer and came in and did a job for us.
"Takaz is five-eighth again this week, and if we get a few back on deck the following week maybe there will be some changes, but for the moment he will stay there this week anyway."
Penrith second-rower Bryce Cartwright has been promoted to the starting side, with James Fisher-Harris succumbing to injury.
Fisher-Harris was named in the Panthers' 17 on Tuesday but had been nursing a shoulder injury, with Cartwright to take his place as he returns from an ankle problem.