Brown laughs off Gallen's prediction of Eels' demise
As he seeks to lead a Parramatta side without Mitchell Moses to a win over Canberra, five-eighth Dylan Brown has rubbished claims from Paul Gallen that the Eels' finals hopes are dead.
Coming off a chaotic defeat to the Gold Coast, Parramatta have a 4-6 record to begin the 2023 season.
Last year's grand finalists have struggled to recapture their 2022 form, with Gallen calling their finals hopes a write-off on the Nine Network.
Their aspirations of climbing up the table have taken a further hit, with concussion ruling Moses out of Saturday's trip to face the in-form Raiders.
The odds are stacked against the Eels, but Brown is keen to disprove Gallen's theory that their tilt at a title is over.
"Apparently Paul Gallen said he crossed us out of the (top) eight,'' Brown said.
"I don't know what he's talking about.
"It's pretty damn early, I reckon, to be saying that.
"Honestly, we're pretty good at blocking out stuff, and that stuff just makes me laugh.
"Some people like to keep receipts and do that stuff, but that's not really me.
"I'm only looking at next week, I don't look at the past."
He said he had begun the year feeling like a "passenger" in the Eels team and is aware he must continue to up the ante with Moses sidelined.
The hot-footed Kiwi international had one of his best performances to date against the Titans, but was bewildered at how the Eels had walked away losers.
"You just think 'What the hell?' I think we did play very well," Brown said.
"Ask anyone, it's not like we left the field going, 'We played dogs**t'."
With Moses sidelined, Brown will be partnered with Jake Arthur for the first time this year.
Arthur, son of coach Brad, hasn't featured at NRL level since last year's grand final, when the Eels' mentor was accused of nepotistic selection.
Brown was adamant that Jake had earned the right to return to first grade and would act as a solid fill-in for Moses.
"He's very similar to Mitch, he runs the game, dominates it," Brown said.
"He's very vocal, me not so much, as everyone knows.
"He's a very smart player and his intelligence shows on the field.
"He will come in and he won't be shy."