Rivals should be nervous: Eels - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Rivals should be nervous: Eels

By David Beniuk 24/07/2010 10:21:12 AM Comments (0)

If Parramatta's rivals for the NRL premiership are getting nervous, they should be say the resurgent Eels' stars.

With 2009's amazing run to the grand final the precedent, the Jarryd Hayne-inspired Eels have given every indication they intend to do justice to their pre-season premiership favourites tag.

They completed their third straight win on Friday night, a 32-16 blitz of Canterbury, with Hayne again in brilliant form, scoring two tries in the first six minutes.

With ladder leaders St George Illawarra again sputtering and second-placed Penrith also hiccupping, the Eels believe their rivals ought to be at least a bit scared.

"After last year they probably have a bit of a look and we are playing very well at the moment," Eels halfback Daniel Mortimer said.

"We still do have a lot to work on and with Haynesy playing the way he is and the forwards the way they are, there's no reason not to be a little bit nervous."

Coach Daniel Anderson described Hayne as the "catalyst" for his side's confidence after the win over the Bulldogs and Mortimer said the superstar fullback had brought an aura with him when he returned from the NSW State of Origin camp.

"It's not so much at training, just at the games he'll pull performances like he has the last three weeks and everyone feeds off that," Mortimer said.

"It really makes the forwards run harder and tackle harder and everyone's running better lines and everyone definitely puts their bit in.

"When his confidence is high he does direct the play more and demand the ball more.

"He's just running a lot harder, he's a lot more places on the field, he's popping up everywhere and that's what he needs to do.

"Haynesy will chime in when he wants and that's what's worked best for us last year and it's starting to work well again this year.

"He's got a pretty good record with pulling magic out of his bum and when he's like that you do have to feed him the ball, absolutely."

Anderson has been loath to compare the 2010 Eels to last year's model but that hasn't stopped him sounding like it's 2009 all over again.

"You've got to ride confidence sometimes when you get it," he said.

"It's difficult to say where it comes form and where it goes but when you have confidence everyone sort of jumps on board and away you go."

But he has banned mention of last year's season-ending 10 wins from 12 starts.

"We haven't spoken about it at all," he said.

"We're still outside the eight. We're just creeping up the table.

"We need to keep winning."

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