Coach Brad Arthur says Parramatta have to forget last week’s exploits over Manly if they are to beat a Newcastle side who have had the wood over the Eels.
Parramatta coach Brad Arthur has brushed aside the Eels’ poor recent record against Newcastle but admits he’s concerned by the threat of the struggling Knights.
A win on Saturday would put the eighth-placed Eels on the cusp of a first finals spot since 2009 but they must first overcome a side that has won the last six encounters between the two clubs.
Arthur’s men head into the game on a huge high following last Friday’s stirring victory over Manly and face a team with nothing but pride to play for.
Despite their lowly status on the ladder, the 14th-placed Knights have been strong at Hunter Stadium in recent weeks and almost a year ago smashed Ricky Stuart’s Eels’ 54-6 on home soil.
Arthur said he’s not worried about statistics but is wary of acing a Wayne Bennett side who’ve just been smashed 48-6 by Brisbane.
“I am not into history, we couldn’t win at ANZ, we couldn’t win away from home, to me that is all what you make of it,” Arthur said.
“But they are a good side. They are six from the last nine … their last three home games have been wins over the Warriors, Melbourne and the Roosters.
“Newcastle have beaten us this year and they will be hurting after a heavy loss last week and playing for a bit of pride.”
Arthur cut his coaching teeth under Craig Bellamy at Melbourne shares the intense nature of the two-time premiership-winning coach.
But the job he has done at Parramatta is nothing short of outstanding with a side including many of the same players that won just 11 games in two years.
The 22-12 success over a Manly side that led 12-0 at halftime last Friday was one of the best performances from a Parramatta outfit for some time, but the 40-year-old has ordered his team to put it behind them.
“We’re not getting carried away there’s still a lot of work to do,” he said.
“We control our destiny now that’s the only good thing to come out of the Manly game.
“But it can slip through your fingers as quick as you get hold of it.
“I have no doubt we deserve to be in the finals but deserving to be there and being there are two different things.
“I don’t sleep easy any night being a coach. But I am happy with where we are but still have a lot of work to do.”
“But the boys know it’s in their hands and what they have to do.”