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Eels hooker Reed Mahoney.

Hooker Reed Mahoney fears what Melbourne might do to the Eels if they don't learn from their round one win over Brisbane.

Mahoney agreed with coach Brad Arthur’s assessment the Eels showed a lack of respect in trailing Brisbane 16-0 at half-time on Friday night.

While they were able to get back to "Parramatta football" and score a 24-16 win, Mahoney said a repeat of that performance against the Storm will only end in tears.

"I don’t want to know the score [if we repeat that effort against Melbourne]," Mahoney said.

"That’s what we’ve got to learn from during the week. We have the short turnaround and play on Thursday so we have to learn pretty quick.

Match Highlights: Broncos v Eels

"The way Melbourne played last night it was like they haven’t left the 2020 season so they’re the team to beat again this year and they showed that [in round one] and we really need to be on our toes next week.

"I think they’re the benchmark, they have been for the last 20 years and the stats have proven that.

"The last couple of years against Melbourne we haven’t been at our best … we just have to put our best foot forward and work on what we didn’t do well tonight."

Mahoney was one of the Eels’ best on Friday night, scoring a try, setting up another and running for 108m with three tackle busts, two linebreaks and 55 tackles.

But he knows no one will care about his round one effort if it’s not repeated each week.

Arthur liking what he sees from Papali'i

The other star of Friday night’s win was off-season recruit Isaiah Papali’i who is eyeing off a permanent bench role at the Eels.

Papali’i ran for 200m in his 56 minutes off the bench, trumping starting props Reagan Campbell-Gillard (128m) and Junior Paulo (138m), with his 69 post-contact metres the highest in the team.

The 22-year-old arrived at Parramatta from the Warriors over the summer with a promise from coach Brad Arthur that a bench role awaits him if he is good enough.

At just 182cm tall and 108kg, he might lack the size and stature of some of his middle teammates, but his footwork and speed around a tired ruck could prove effective under the new speed of the game.

"I get excited coming on when the boys are a bit more fatigued," Papali'i said.

"It means smaller guys like me playing through that middle third can be a bit more effective with a bit of footwork.

"Hopefully the rules are hard but as a bench player coming into that it makes the impact a bit simpler and more effective.

"BA talks about being on the bench for a reason so when you get on make an impact, make that middle moving a bit more while they’re under fatigue."

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