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Role reversal for Eels

If may be early days but Parramatta coach Brad Arthur said the Eels are experiencing pressure of a different kind as the hunter instead of the hunted.

After upsetting Penrith 20-12 in their season opening clash at Panthers Stadium, Parramatta are slight favourites heading into Sunday's match at ANZ Stadium against the Bulldogs, who were thrashed 40-6 by the Warriors in round one.

Arthur said the most important thing for the Eels was playing with the same attitude and effort that drove them to victory over Penrith.

"It's good to get a win early but it's important that we build on that now," Arthur said.

"You're always chasing your first win - it puts pressure on you. But now the pressure is different, the pressure is to make sure that we can repeat that performance or at least that attitude and effort.

"Playing with that sort of intent and attitude resulted in us getting on top of all the real important parts of the game and if we can do that right we'll give ourselves an opportunity to get better with the execution of our plays if we've got the ball in hand for longer."

Eels prop Junior Paulo.
Eels prop Junior Paulo. ©Gregg Porteous/NRL Photos

The Eels will be missing several players on Sunday with Michael Jennings suspended, Kaysa Pritchard on personal leave and Nathan Brown (pectoral), Will Smith (broken arm), George Jennings (knee), Manu Ma'u (knee) all injured.

Junior Paulo returns to the side, while Tepai Moeroa has been cleared to play - Jaeman Salmon has also been called upon for a bench spot in the absence of Will Smith. 

Arthur said nothing changes from last week and is counting on his side to step it up another level.

"The boys that we had last week [did] the job and it's up to them to step up again," Arthur said.

"Junior (Paulo) is back into the fold and he'll bring a bit of confidence for the boys too. He's a big body, he carries the ball nice and he's hard and aggressive.

"Tepai (Moeroa) was a concern but he's tough and he'll go out there and be able to do his job."

Arthur hopes his new halves combination of Mitchell Moses and Dylan Brown continue to create opportunities while working on their execution.

"Last week some of our execution at the try-line wasn't great but we gave ourselves an opportunity to improve and gain confidence there and get better as the game went on," Arthur said.

"That's the job of our halves, to get us the field position and to keep it with showing some composure and I thought they [did] that extremely well. They stuck to the kick plan and if they do that again we'll give ourselves time to get better."

The Eels are expecting a torrid battle with their western Sydney rivals.

"They're a tough team," Arthur said.

"They're going to be gritty and their going to grind so we're in for a real dog fight against these blokes."

Acknowledgement of Country

National Rugby League respects and honours the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.

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