You have skipped the navigation, tab for page content
Eels co-captain Jarryd Hayne says there's a new look to the side this year, and it's not just the new jersey. Copyright: NRL Photos/Grant Trouville.
Nine players who wore the blue and gold in last year's 50-0 embarrassment against the Roosters in Round 4 turned out against the Warriors last week.

In fact, there were 10 of them from last week's victory that were involved in the final game of last season, a coffin-nailing 54-6 capitulation against Newcastle.

But while your 2014 Parramatta might bear an uncanny resemblance to the one that was handed back-to-back wooden spoons last year, Eels co-captain Jarryd Hayne says that – for one game at least - there is a look to this team that he hasn't seen in years.

And you can thank defensive-extraordinaire coach Brad Arthur for that.

"The attitude towards defence has changed with the aggression and the way we defended last week, coming up against the Warriors [who are] definitely a physical team," Hayne said.

"So to out-muscle them was big for us and something that we haven't done against teams for a long, long time."

The surprising 36-16 blowout had the Eels’ beleaguered fanbase doing cartwheels – and even Hayne himself, who broke out a Superman post-try celebration.

But the Parramatta talisman insists it wasn't the four points, or 36, he was getting excited about. Rather, it was the intense battle they overcame beforehand, a fight in the trenches that the Eels couldn't even find with a GPS last year.

"It's more of a confidence thing for us. Starting well and what we did, we kind of got in the grind there for a bit. So to pull away and to get the win was good," he said.

The victory was crucial too, Hayne says, considering the difficult next five weeks ahead. After visiting the defending premiers on Saturday night, the Eels are again on the road to Manly, host the improving-Panthers, head north to Brisbane, before taking on the Roosters again at home.

So earning those two points last week was kind of a big deal to them.

"We definitely needed to get off to a good start knowing that we're coming up against potentially two or three top-four teams. We did that and now we've got to take that momentum into the Roosters game," Hayne said.

Easing the challenge somewhat will be the absence of Roosters megastar Sonny Bill Williams but Hayne says not even that reduces their status as premiership benchmark.

"They've played without Sonny before. It's not just Sonny that there is, they're all dominant," Hayne said.

"They've got a lot of great players that can change the course of a game, we understand that and I think for us it's more looking forward to the challenge."

Watch the NRL LIVE with a 2-week free trial.
Get the NRL Digital Pass now!

Acknowledgement of Country

National Rugby League respects and honours the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.

Premier Partner

Media Partners

Major Partners

View All Partners