Arthur's influence on Auva'a
After a turbulent three years off the field, Kirisome Auva'a's rugby league career is back on track under Parramatta Eels mentor Brad Arthur.
Following Auva'a's troubled time at South Sydney the opportunity to link with the Eels coach again after previously working with Arthur at the Melbourne Storm was something the Samoan international couldn't turn down.
His Rabbitohs coach Michael Maguire had also been an assistant coach at the Storm and Auva'a said there were some similarities between the current set-ups at Souths and Parramatta.
"I have worked with Brad before in the under-20s at the Melbourne Storm and I have worked with Madge (Maguire) so it's all similar systems," Auva'a said.
"It (the Storm connection with Arthur) was a bit of a factor coming here.
"It makes it easier to slot [into a new club] and considering last year how well they went, it was a big factor in coming here.
"Brad hasn't changed so much, he is still the same as he was back then."
With two tries from three games in his new colours, the Otahuhu junior has settled into the centre position in a reshuffled backline after fullback Bevan French went down with a knee injury.
"[Despite] a loss in my first game, the last two weeks have been good," he said.
"So far I am happy with how it has been going but there is always improvements to make, mostly in defence, but I just have to keep working on that every week."
Parramatta head to Townsville on the back of two narrow wins over fellow Western Sydney clubs Penrith and the Wests Tigers but they have an awful record in North Queensland, winning only once in their last 10 fixtures at the venue.
With Johnathan Thurston named on the reserves list for the Cowboys with a decision to be made on his fitness by Friday, the Eels expect the Australian international to play although Auva'a insisted the hosts would be tough opposition with or without their inspirational leader.
"We have spoken about the Cowboys the last couple of days, we haven't performed well the last couple of years up there so the big focus this week was on how well we prepare and getting ready for Friday night," Auva'a said.
"The last few weeks they have been playing good without JT, but we are just focusing on ourselves and the game plan we have to prepare for."
Meanwhile, former New South Wales forward Beau Scott made a habit of terrorising Thurston in the State of Origin arena but said the focus for the Eels will be trying to clinch a win ahead of next week's representative round.
"Everyone is after the two points heading into the bye and emptying the tank and we will be no different," Scott said.
"We haven't got a good record travelling up to North Queensland. It is probably a game we need to go up there and play the football we have been the last fortnight or so.
"It is a hard trip, just like New Zealand, it is a long way up there, they have great support in a great home town with fans up there and it doesn't make it any easier for us so we will definitely have our work cut out.
"We have got back to the way we want to play, the way we are training to play, and the results are there."