Paulo: Eels Stepped Up
Dyldam Parramatta Eels lock Joseph Paulo has pointed to the depth at the Eels as a key factor in Sunday’s tough win over the Bulldogs.
The Blue and Gold lost second-rower Manu Ma'u early in the game with a suspected fractured forearm, leaving just 16 players to see out the match against the infamous Dogs forward pack.
“We’re just so lucky that we’ve got players that can fill those roles and fill the spot well,” Paulo said.
“It was one of our games that we knew how challenging their forward pack was, and I think they’re rated as the best in the competition so we really just had to bring some toughness."
“It’s something that Brad’s really been trying to instill into our team and especially to our forward pack, that toughness and aggression, so I think we showed that."
Following an impressive performance on Sunday, Paulo has rated the big 19 year-old Pauli Pauli as a player to watch in Blue and Gold.
“Pauli is improving every week, he’s a young player and he’s still growing into his body, it’s crazy how big he is,” Paulo said.
“We’re just excited for him and I know that he is getting fitter and getting more confident so for us it is just more of an x-factor – to have him on the bench or starting he is really having an impact for the team.”
And with new recruit Isaac De Gois making his debut for the Eels in Sunday’s win, Paulo praised the NRL veteran for the way he stepped into the number nine jersey.
“Having Isaac there, it has really come good for us," Paulo said.
“'Peatsy' (Nathan Peats) played that role perfecly, he was up in their face, real tough, gritty. For Isaac to come in and play that role for 80 minutes in his first game, he was our man of the match yesterday.”
Parramatta will be travelling to Melbourne for the Round 15 clash against the Storm, and Paulo says the Eels are aware of just how good the Storm is at home.
“We know how good they are down there," Paulo said.
"We haven’t won for a while down in Melbourne, so we’ll definitely be working hard this week and doing a lot of video on them.”