Reliable Eels primed for Roosters: Arthur

Matt Encarnacion
The undefeated Eels can't wait to take on the two-time defending NRL premiers this weekend

It may not be the type of trait that will strike fear into the minds of two-time defending premiers Sydney Roosters.

But it's what Parramatta coach Brad Arthur believes has his ladder-leading outfit primed for arguably the most anticipated match of the NRL season so far.

After jumping out to their best start in almost 35 years, Arthur described his current Eels team as the most reliable in his seven years in the job.

"We're definitely reliable, and that's what we want to be," Arthur said on Friday.

"We want to be able to repeat what we want to do over and over for long periods of games, for the whole 80 minutes of games, for tough periods of the games."

And it's why, after impressive wins over Manly and Penrith, he's so adamant Parramatta don't have to find another gear against the Roosters.

The proof is in the pudding for Arthur, with statistics revealing no side scores more, or concedes less, second-half points so far this season.

Instead, it's all about maintaining their form when the stakes are at its highest.

"In the bigger games, you're going to be placed under more pressure," Arthur said.

"It's about making sure that we don't stray from what we know works for us. And having the resilience to commit to it and stick to it."

Not even coming up against a star-studded line-up boasting the white-hot James Tedesco will change Arthur's approach to the blockbuster clash.

He said they dealt with a similar challenge two weeks ago.

"We've had Tommy Trbojevic a couple of weeks ago," Arthur said.

"We can't overfocus on him. He's certainly a very good player and we'll be doing our best to make sure we can minimise the damage that he's capable of doing."

In contrast, Roosters coach Trent Robinson insists his side is nowhere near its potential despite racking up a combined 129-18 scoreline over the past fortnight.

And they get spiritual pack leader Jared Waerea-Hargreaves back from injury.

"We're definitely not peaking. I feel like we're playing good Roosters footy, but it's not something new that we've done or are trying to do," Robinson said.

"We're just playing footy for the 80 minutes and the results are following.

"The guys' combinations have been good, they've been committed to our principles so we feel like we're in a building phase in at the moment."

STATS THAT MATTER

* If the Roosters score more than 21 points against the Eels, they will break their NRL era record of 172 points after six games (2001) and will have their most since scoring 200 points in their first six games of 1996.

* If the Eels concede 24 or less against the Roosters it will be their fewest through six games in the NRL era. If they keep the Roosters to less than five points it will be their fewest conceded in club history.