Arthur's spray leaves Eels black and blue
Parramatta Eels' recruit Kane Evans had heard about Brad Arthur's famed sprays that can verbally lash the Blue & Gold til they're black and blue, he just figured it would take more than 80 minutes for him to cop one first hand.
With the mercury set to hit 36 degrees for Sunday's crunch clash with the Manly Sea Eagles, Arthur cranked up the heat on his side during their video review session on Wednesday.
Arthur tore strips off his squad in a brutal analysis of their 24-point fade out against Penrith Panthers in round one, which leaves Parramatta staring down an 0-2 record unless their fortunes change at Lottoland.
Speaking to reporters after three hours of field and weights training in the Golden West's oppressive heat on Thursday, Evans gave himself a fair uppercut for "letting the team down" in his first Eels outing since arriving from the Roosters on a healthy three-year deal.
But the entire playing squad copped a bake from Arthur a day earlier as the coach picked over the pieces of a 14-0 lead that ended in a comfortable Panthers win last week.
"It was intense. It was the first time I've seen the coach in action," Evans said.
"But to his credit, I can see why so many players love him. He's really respectful the way he does it, you have your one-on-one with him before the team.
"He'll never put anyone on show in front of the team. You can see how much respect he has for his players.
I was pretty impressed when he took me to the side, we went through it together and he told me where I went wrong."
While star half Corey Norman only rated Arthur's blow-up a "six and a half, seven" on the Richter scale, he did recall the method behind the cranky coach's madness in a previously well-directed rebuke.
According to both Evans and Norman, the last time Arthur held a similarly blunt video session was six weeks into the 2017 season as the Eels languished in 13th place.
A 14-4 record followed for the rest of their campaign, propelling Parramatta into their first finals appearance since 2009.
While Norman denied the review was one of Arthur's "red hot ones", the key focus from the analysis was their "reactive" play during a second-half capitulation to Penrith.
"Just the lack of effort that we showed," Norman said.
"We put the effort in the wrong areas. It was all reactive, once they made a break or something like that it was all reactive when we should've been loading our effort into (play) before we had to react to a line break.
"Brad made sure we had a look and weren't skipping over anything. You could just feel everyone was embarrassed or disappointed.
"He made us watch it and after that video session it was gone and we move onto Manly.
"You go and do video, you cop your spray. There's no moping about, we move onto Manly and it's a new week."
For his part, Evans has vowed to address his preparation this week after overthinking his club debut.
After a subdued stint from the bench against the Panthers, the Fijian international said he and Arthur had identified his pre-game "head noise" as his biggest detriment, and vowed to take a more relaxed approach against a Sea Eagles pack powered by Marty Taupau and Jake Trbojevic.
"I think I overcomplicated it myself," Evans said.
"My preparation physically was all good but mentally I was just overthinking it and thinking of stuff I didn't have to do.
"Going into the game, I was thinking of what I was doing when I should have just been in the moment. It's a good lesson to learn early in the year."