They’ve knocked off last year’s grand finalists away from home already this season but Parramatta coach Brad Arthur is yet to be convinced of the Eels’ big-game mentality.
Last weekend’s 22-20 victory over Penrith at BlueBet Stadium moved the Eels up to fifth on the NRL ladder and came after a 28-24 win over Melbourne at AAMI Park in round three.
Next up is another highly credentialled opponent in the Sydney Roosters, who are coming into Sunday’s Magic Round clash at Suncorp Stadium on the back of a James Tedesco-inspired 44-16 mauling of Gold Coast last weekend.
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Arthur is welcoming the chance to face Trent Robinson’s team as a way for his own players to prove their performances against the Storm and Panthers become the norm.
“To be the best you’ve got to beat the best and win those big games. We’ve won two now, both away from home, under different circumstances,” Arthur said.
“That’s a credit to the playing group and where we’re at as a club, but I won’t be convinced until I see the same mentality and attitude every week.
“We’ve come under a bit of criticism around consistency, I think we’re reasonably consistent, but the bit where we’ve got to be better if we want to be at the same level as those two teams that we’re talking about, they come ready for war every week.
“Some weeks we turn up trying to fluff our way through a game or a win. We’ve got to move past that.”
Unsurprisingly Arthur has stuck with the same line-up that defeated the premiers, but Robinson has been forced into a change after Sam Verrills broke his collarbone early in the win over the Titans in Mackay.
Connor Watson will make his return from a throat injury to start at hooker in Verrills’ place while Sio Siua Taukeiaho starts in place of the suspended Lindsay Collins, with Daniel Fifita coming onto the interchange bench.