Nepotism claims only spurred Eels: Arthur

·2-min read

Parramatta head coach Brad Arthur has taken aim at the "agenda" being driven by people within his own club after guiding the Eels to their first preliminary final since 2009 .

The Eels blew Canberra off the park on Friday in a 40-4 win to set up a trip to Townsville to face North Queensland next week, with a spot in the grand final up for grabs.

The win was just Arthur's third finals victory in 10 games at the club and followed a tumultuous 24 hours in the build-up to their meeting with the Raiders.

A day before they faced the Raiders, an internal document from a meeting last month, which claimed Parramatta was rife with nepotism, made its way into the public domain.

Arthur's son Jake, who has been booed by his own fans this year, was part of the 17-man squad in the semi-final win over Canberra.

But Arthur said the leaked document had a galvanising effect on his side and warned that any backroom moves to disrupt his team had little impact.

"I reckon we showed how it affected the group," Arthur said.

"Someone's got an agenda, and they're not going to break the spirit.

"There's some personal interest and whoever's got the agenda, you're not going to break this group. We've worked too hard.

"We've dealt with plenty in the past - it's only a couple of years ago we had other dramas.

"We didn't even address it, we didn't talk about it. It's something we can't control, and it's rubbish.

"The boys just want to go and have a bit of fun and play for each other, and that's what they're doing."

Parramatta demolished the Raiders as they brought Canberra's finals fairytale to a juddering halt in a four-try first-half blitz.

It was arguably the Eels' most dominant performance of the season and came despite losing centre Tom Opacic to a hamstring injury along with Mitchell Moses to a HIA.

Moses, who was concussed in last week's loss to Penrith, returned to action late in the second half but the prognosis on Opacic was less positive.

"It probably doesn't look great, but we'll have to wait and see," Arthur said of his centre.

The Eels will take a charter flight to Townsville on Wednesday where they are playing for a spot in their first grand final since 2009.

"We've got nothing to lose," Arthur said.

"We've got an opportunity next week and we're going to go after it."