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Melbourne Storm rookie Cooper Johns.

Debutant Storm halfback Cooper Johns, son of Knights legend Matthew, says he was "pretty nervous" ahead of his round 15 NRL debut but soaked up the extra attention that comes with having a father who was not only a renowned player but a high profile media personality.

"I've sort of had that my whole life really – and ask my dad, I like a lot of attention!" Johns laughed.

"I'm a bit of an attention-seeker so I handled it pretty good and it made for a lot of emotion for the game."

With family only available remotely via technology due to the current COVID bubble restrictions, Johns admitted it made for a strange week.

"It is a bit weird, I had all my family and mates here today but I couldn't get too close to them, couldn't give them a hug but couldn't get that close," he said.

"Cameron Smith was a big help throughout the week. Obviously he wasn't playing but he calmed my nerves down and isolated my focus on my defence because obviously on debut they're going to test you out and throw a lot of tackles your way so that was a real focus of mine."

Match Highlights: Eels v Storm

Johns also echoed sentiments from his coach Craig Bellamy that Eels winger Maika Sivo stayed down to draw a crusher penalty in the 14-0 loss to Parramatta.

Johns was placed on report in the 32nd minute of his debut game for applying pressure to the back of Sivo's head, with the incident drawing the ire of Bellamy in his post-match press conference.

"I'm not too worried about that one to be honest, I don't think there was too much in it," Johns said.

"Sivo's got about 40 kilos on me too, I don't think it would have hurt him, I think he was just trying to draw a penalty.

"I've been crushered before, when you get crushered you don't generally want to stay out there … I don't want to comment on it too much but I felt like it might have been a little tactic."

That penalty was just one of the 8-1 run against Melbourne on the night, which Johns admitted was an area that needed tidying up.

"That's a big one, that penalty count we have to get down," he said.

"We had a few opportunities in the first half, I feel like if we executed a few opportunities in the first half the game could have been a different story but Parramatta really turned up tonight.

"They played a really strong game, shifted us around and we just weren't up to scratch.

"It was a very tough game for us. We couldn't get a win but it was good to finally get that [debut] out of the way. I was pretty nervous all week.

Cooper Johns receives his first Storm jersey

"I did enjoy myself. I probably built it up a lot bigger in my head to be honest.

"To have Joey in my head, he built it up that it was going to be bigger than something it was but when you get out there the adrenaline starts pumping through and 10 minutes felt like 10 seconds.

"I was very nervous actually, very, very nervous. But I think it's a good thing because it show you really care about it. It helped me get up for the game, in rugby league when you're playing every week it can be hard to get up for games but this was an easy game to get up for."

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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