Eels expect both halves back for Round 2
Early signs indicate Eels halves Corey Norman (neck) and Kieran Foran (hamstring) will be ok to face defending premiers North Queensland at Pirtek Stadium next Saturday night.
The Eels were dealt a blow when new captain and halfback Foran pulled out of the side's season-opening 17-4 loss to Brisbane on match eve with hamstring tightness, and were never in the contest once in-form five-eighth Norman was taken from the field at half time after landing awkwardly on his head in a tackle.
After the game, Eels coach Brad Arthur said while Norman had gone to hospital for scans, it was just a precaution.
"The doc said it's just a precaution and if the scans come back like they think they will he should be right for next week. That's what he told me anyway," Arthur said.
On Foran – who Arthur has previously said was too important to risk over a minor injury so early in the season – Arthur said he would look to run as early as this Saturday.
"He wasn't close enough [to play Round 1]. We watched him run [Thursday], he'll run on Saturday, the guys are telling me he'll be right to go."
The pair's absence contributed to a spluttering effort from the Eels but Arthur nevertheless praised his side's scrambling defence that prevented a blowout score.
"Regardless of losing a couple of halves we only completed at 50 per cent in the second half. We just needed to be a bit more patient but if we want to take a positive out of it, even though we were a bit loose at times through the middle with our defence we scrambled ok and kept them out in the second half," Arthur said.
"We're disappointed. I thought we were just a little bit loose through the middle and at times just a bit inconsistent from tackle to tackle and set to set with our defence.
"At one stage we made 40 or 50 more tackles at the start of the game, I think we were five of the first 15 sets which makes it hard. Our first opportunity down there attacking their tryline we turned it over on tackle two.
"They were just a little bit more disciplined and patient than us."