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Nathan Brown exchanges pleasantries with Bulldog Josh Jackson.

Eels coach Brad Arthur thought Nathan Brown was attempting a tackle and not a shoulder charge when he made his controversial hit on Bulldogs fullback Dallin Watene-Zelezniak.

Brown was sin-binned for what was deemed a shoulder charge by the on-field officials in the 47th minute of Thursday night's upset loss to Canterbury at Bankwest Stadium.

The vision looked damning but Arthur wasn't convinced that Brown hadn't attempted a genuine tackle.

"I haven't had a real close look at it but I thought his arm was away from his body [constituting a tackle attempt]," Arthur said. "He plays with aggression."

Eels hooker Reed Mahoney was optimistic Brown would be cleared but said the club had enough depth to plug the gap if the 26-year-old did cop a ban.

"I think that's what's so good about our club at the moment. If someone is suspended or is out, we've got people who can fill those shoes," Mahoney said.

"Hopefully, touch wood, Browny will be alright and we can go back into the Broncos game with him. If not we'll have to bring someone in and whoever comes in we trust they'll do their job.

Brown sent to sin bin for shoulder charge

"I didn't even see it [the tackle] to be honest. I just saw everyone lairing up and I ran in to back up Browny because he was getting flogged by 20 blokes. He'll have a look at it and whatever happens from it we'll have to worry about it."

Both Arthur and Mahoney accepted the NRL Bunker's call to award a decisive penalty try to Bulldogs winger Nick Meaney after Parramatta halfback Mitch Moses dislodged the ball with his boot.

Mahoney believes Thursday's 12-6 loss to the Bulldogs may have been necessary to spark a finals surge.

In a testy match at Bankwest Stadium, the sixth-placed Eels made a slew of errors and struggled for attacking rhythm against a gritty Bulldogs side that has now won four consecutive matches.

Mahoney insisted there was no complacency from Parramatta but blamed a lack of execution with the ball for the defeat.

"Maybe we needed it going into the finals. We either go on from here or the opposite and I think we're going to go in the right direction," Mahoney told NRL.com.

"It's very disappointing tonight. Credit to the Bulldogs, they're playing some good footy and tonight they just held on. I felt we were pretty in control throughout the whole game but we just couldn't get the points on the board.

"Everything we said before the game we pretty much did the opposite. We'll be back to the drawing board when we head back to training on Sunday and we'll worry about the Broncos [next Friday] because we've got a big few weeks."

Match Highlights: Eels v Bulldogs

Arthur commended Canterbury's relentless effort to carve out their sixth victory in the past eight matches.

"They were desperate, they kept turning up. Every time we made a pass or moved the ball around, they kept getting bodies around the ball. They played well, they really aimed up," Arthur said.

"It's a lost opportunity. It's disappointing but we've got to aim up next week. There's still an opportunity to get another win next week now."

The mentor concluded that Parramatta, who had won four straight before the Bulldogs blow, must show more patience to get back to their best.

"We need to make sure we go away and have a good look at it. The boys said all the right things in the sheds but we've got to action that."

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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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