Parramatta need to fight fire with fire and “come out swinging” if they are to topple favourites Penrith in the NRL Grand Final.
That’s the view of NRL Grand Final winner Pat Richards who has backed his former club to find their very best form in the southern hemisphere’s showpiece game, having enjoyed success against the Panthers in the regular season.
“There are not many teams who could beat this Penrith side and Parramatta have done it twice,” Richards told Love Rugby League.
“The way they did it was through the middle. They had a crack at them so have to come out swinging and fight fire with fire.
“With Nathan Cleary, Penrith have an unbelievable kicking game that puts pressure on you. They play for 80 minutes so Parramatta can’t let off at all. They have to be at their absolute best to have any chance.”
NRL Grand Final
Richards was a try scorer in Wests Tigers’ 2005 Grand Final win but started his career at Parramatta where he scored 14 tries in 37 appearances for the Eels.
“Parramatta have had a tough trot, they haven’t won the comp since 1986, so 36 years is a long wait,” Richards told the latest Love Rugby League Podcast.
“I debuted at the Parramatta Eels and to see them in a Grand Final again is great, I would just love to see them get over the line.
“They have some great support, great people at the club and I think they are going really well. Their half-back Mitchell Moses has had a phenomenal season. But they are coming up against a mighty side in Penrith. This is their third Grand Final in a row so they will have to be at their absolute best to get the result.”
Pat Richards on life after league
Richards retired six years ago and now works outside of rugby league selling machinery, alongside an ambassadorial role with Wests.
“I don’t miss the game, or being that sore all the time,” he said. “But whenever there is a big game and your old team is playing it does excite you and bring it all back.
“You remember what it is like to run out in front of a full crowd because you sacrifice so much as a player. Grand Finals just don’t come around every season. You have got to be in a good side, time everything right and have luck with injuries.”