New Eels have heart: Mannah
Parramatta skipper Tim Mannah says last week's Eels – the side that almost pulled off an upset over the Bulldogs whilst on their knees – have something he hasn't seen in his time at the club.
Two players failed to finish the match and another two fought through the pain barrier to come back on the pitch in a game the Eels led with half an hour remaining.
"You can call it heart," he suggests. "I was really happy when we were out there. I thought the first 15 minutes when we were defending our line a lot, we took a lot of confidence out of that.
"The more we were out there, it made us realise how far we've come as a team. We aren't looking back at the past too much, but it definitely hasn't been there before. We've got something really nice here."
Winger Semi Radradra is facing over two months on the sidelines with a knee injury, while centre Beau Champion's season is over after tearing his ACL.
Chris Sandow is doubtful starter against the Warriors after aggravating an ankle injury he suffered in the Auckland Nines, as is lock Anthony Watmough, who re-opened a nasty gash on his knee.
"[But] it's going to take a lot more than a little leg cut to keep 'Choc' out, which is good for us," said teammate David Gower.
"He's a competitor and he personally wasn't too happy with his game on the weekend, so he's going to want to come out and play well for us again. He's licking his lips to get stuck into them again."
Mannah believes Parramatta's new-found grit can be credited to coach Brad Arthur, and is encapsulated by the first-up effort of new recruit Danny Wicks.
In his first game in five years, the former Knight ran for 150 metres and made 21 tackles in just 37 minutes.
"I know Brad's mentioned it a few times, but he's the kind of guy that you want to have around in your team. He's great for morale, he's got a really good work ethic, and he's got a real good mentality when it comes to being on the field," Mannah said.
"He works hard for his teammates, and that's the kind of culture we want to build. The coaching staff have done a really good job over the last 18 months to really build a culture where everyone wants to have that same mentality: Everyone wants to work hard for each other. And I think Danny definitely fits that mould."
Arthur has recalled winger Vai Toutai to replace Radradra on the left wing, while frustrated centre Ryan Morgan has been given an opportunity to nail down Champion's spot ahead of prodigious rookie John Folau.
Morgan, now in his fifth season in the NRL, expressed his dissatisfaction in his inability to cement a spot in the starting 17.
"It's always frustrating not being in first grade. That's what I want to play. I'm pretty sure everyone in this team wants to play first grade," he said.
"It gets a bit frustrating at times, but that's all part of the job. I've just got to improve my form. I've been working on what Brad told me to work on: Get more involved, and get a bit of confidence back there. So hopefully I can transfer it to this week."