Hair-raiser... Eels coach Bard Arthur says his side is in desperate need of Fuifui Moimoi's veteran leadership. Credit: Shane Wenzlick. Copyright: NRL Photos.
After a 48-0 beatdown in Auckland last week, Parramatta coach Brad Arthur has demanded his side put some pride back into the jersey on Friday night – and he's relying on his veteran players to bring it.
The 11th-placed Eels host the fourth-placed Rabbitohs and while victory would immediately revive hopes of a finals push, the first-year mentor is simply after a whole-hearted effort.
"We need to have no respect for our bodies this week. They're a big side. We need to get our bodies in front and be very physical," he said.
"Our destiny's in our own hands like 15 or 14 other clubs. A win's going to be great this week, but it's more about being physical in our performance getting a bit of pride in our jersey."
Star fullback Jarryd Hayne is due to return from a successful Origin campaign and after being rested for the Warriors loss, Arthur expects Hayne to provide an Origin-level finish to the season.
"He's had a good break, a good rest. Physically and mentally, he's prepared to get in there and play a big part for us tomorrow night. He was carrying a little bit of a leg injury so he wouldn't have been right to play last week anyway," Arthur said.
"He was very strong at the start of the year and then he had an opportunity to concentrate on his Origin series. He's done that, and now it's his time to concentrate on helping Parramatta push towards the end of the year now."
Parramatta had suffered another heavy defeat the previous time they rested their attacking linchpin, going down 38-12 in Penrith without Hayne after Origin I. Arthur said he would re-think the approach at the end of the season.
"We'll have to wait until the end of the year to see about that, but it was on advice from the medical staff and at the end of the day his welfare was more important," he said.
"It was more important he was playing for us at the back end of the year instead of maybe rushing him out for a game and he maybe gets injured."
Arthur is also counting on veteran prop Fuifui Moimoi to instil a harder edge in his struggling side, with the 34-year-old named to make his first start since Round 8.
"He's close to his 200th game and he's got quite a bit of experience which at times I think we've lacked this season. His physical presence is a definite bonus for us," Arthur said.
One player the Eels won't be rushing back this week is co-captain Tim Mannah, who is still one week away from recovering from shoulder injury, while centre Will Hopoate is still battling a shoulder problem suffered during Origin II.