Brutal honesty turns Eels' season around - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Brutal honesty turns Eels' season around

By Ian McCullough 22/08/2009 11:49:32 AM Comments (0)

Parramatta captain Nathan Cayless has revealed a no holds barred mid-season meeting between the players was the turning point in a season that has seen the Eels go from wooden spoon candidates to NRL premiership contenders.

It was impossible to think the Eels would be anywhere near the finals back in round 12 when a struggling Cronulla side ended a run of nine successive defeats with a 13-10 win at a freezing cold Parramatta Stadium, leaving the Eels third-last on the ladder.

And Cayless said that game was the moment when the players felt something had to be done to stop their season spiralling out of control.

"After the Cronulla game we had a chat as a team and said we have to do everything we could to improve," Cayless told AAP.

"We didn't want to go to the bottom of the table which is where we were heading.

"And after that meeting we went up to Newcastle and got a good win and we have picked up momentum from then and it is a credit all of the players and the staff to be where we are now."

The Eels chalked up their sixth successive victory with a 26-18 win against Wests Tigers on Friday and are very much the in-form team leading into the final two weeks of the season.

Cayless admitted the transformation has been hard to believe.

"We were just talking about avoiding the wooden spoon at that stage of the season. We had to do a lot of hard work on our game and on our attitude," he said.

"And attitude is still important now. It's too early to talk about finals or grand finals. We can't get carried away. We are going well but have not achieved anything yet."

Cayless was also wary of other teams talking up the Eels and said he will be insisting the players do not start to believe the hype that is not surrounding them.

"Sometimes teams like to talk other sides up and try to take the pressure off themselves and we can't listen to any of what people are saying about us," he said.

"We need to keep our discipline and not get distracted and undo all of this hard work we have put in."

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