Brad Arthur was waiting for the Eels to produce a complete performance but not even he envisioned the carnage they'd cause when it all clicked.
Parramatta humiliated Brisbane 58-0 in a record-breaking elimination final at Bankwest Stadium on Sunday to set up a week two playoff with minor premiers Melbourne at AAMI Park on Saturday.
Arthur had lamented his team's tendency to clock off during matches this year but that wasn't an issue against the Broncos as the home side posted 11 tries.
"I didn't think we were going to play that well," the coach said.
"I knew we were going to come and have a red-hot crack and some days it just goes to plan for you and it did today.
"I'm proud of the boys. We need to enjoy it but we've got a tough game coming up on Saturday."
Despite the Storm losing to Canberra in their preliminary qualifier, Arthur still regards Craig Bellamy's men as the NRL's benchmark.
The memories of a heartbreaking 18-16 loss to Melbourne at AAMI Park in the first week of the 2017 finals remain fresh in Arthur's mind.
"We didn't start that well [in that match]. The first 10 or 15 minutes they jumped us and then we came back and put ourselves in the contest," he said.
"[This time] our start's going to be really important and from there it's a matter of hanging on and trying to dig in for the full 80 minutes."
Arthur insisted the Eels are a vastly different team to the one the Storm demolished 64-10 in round nine.
"That was embarrassing, we let a lot of people down – probably more so ourselves," Arthur said,
"I don't think I'm going to need to [mention it this week], I think they still remember. You don't forget a performance like that."
The mood in Parramatta's camp after beating Brisbane was one of contentment but by no means were the players overly celebratory, aware their biggest tests are yet to come.
"If we can play like that for the next three weeks it's going to go a long way to helping us go deep," said captain Clint Gutherson.
"But it doesn’t really mean too much now. We've just got to get our bodies right now and head to Melbourne, they're going to have a point to prove as well."
Gutherson said the Eels' close-knit nature shone through in their in-sync display.
"Everyone out there was just doing their role. The first 20 minutes was very physical and we just took our medicine like we knew we should," he said.
"Next week's just going to take it to another level and we just want to make sure we're ready."
The fullback was among the best on ground, racking up 206 metres, two line breaks and two try assists, but he palmed the credit onto the big boppers in the engine room.
"I'm running off the back of a great forward pack there and I just have to take my opportunities," Gutherson said.