Brad Takairangi in action for the Eels against the Broncos in Round 1.

Eels put frustrating start behind them

Parramatta centres Michael Jennings and Brad Takairangi were quick to admit their frustrations following their opening-round 17-4 loss to the Broncos.

In his club debut Jennings and edge partner Semi Radradra were shut down at every opportunity by the unforgiving Broncos defence but said improvement will come in their combinations. 

Kieran Foran (hamstring) and Corey Norman (neck) are likely to play against the Cowboys on Saturday night with Jennings expecting them to bring much-needed guidance to the Eels. 

David Gower and Danny Wicks may come into consideration too after playing for Wentworthville over the weekend. 

"We get that leadership, connection and structure back in place [with Norman and Foran]. We did the whole pre-season together so that's been in place for a long time and it's going to be good to get them back," Jennings told NRL.com.

"It'll give our sense of direction a boost around the team – 'Foz' moving the forwards and stuff around is going to be a massive positive for us.

"It obviously wasn't the best start for us. But it's only Round 1 and we can take a lot out of that playing against last year's grand finalists. It's just about trying to get our combinations sorted. There's a lot of work that needs to be done with everyone.

"It is exciting in saying all that to continue building on what he have produced so far, Semi and I especially. Semi's a great player and everything he does is gold."

Takairangi was equally disappointed with the Eels' performance, especially with Brisbane winger Corey Oates making life difficult for him and Clinton Gutherson.

"It's obviously a brand new edge there but the more games we get to play together, the better for us. [Gutherson and I] were a bit rusty. We weren't happy with the couple of tries that went down our side but we can work on that," Takairangi told NRL.com. 

"Obviously [Brisbane] loaded up on Jenko and Semi, but it's still our job to control that right-hand side and any chance we get we have to take them. 

"I don't think defences will overload too much [on the left side though] because when you have someone like Kieran Foran inside you, anything can happen."

Not one to cry poor over opening their season against the 2015 grand finalists Takairangi said he couldn't imagine a better test for his Eels side. 

"To play the best two teams in the competition to kick off the year, we wouldn't want it any other way," he said.

"It's good to see where we're at, we had a really hard pre-season and we're pretty confident with the team we have got. The energy was good against Brisbane but we'll have to be a lot better against the Cowboys."