Eels hooker Reed Mahoney doesn't expect his surprise shift to the bench in his team's huge Magic Round loss to the Storm to be a regular occurrence.
Mahoney was replaced in Brad Arthur's run-on side by Peni Terepo with fullback Clint Gutherson often jumping into dummy-half in attack during the opening salvos. That allowed the team to defend with an extra big body in the middle of the field.
Arthur said the move was about challenging the forwards to front-load their energy and aggression and take the fight to the Storm pack.
Parramatta probably missed Mahoney's tenacious tackling and rapid line-speed in defence but it would be tough to argue one player's presence in the opening 20 minutes could have averted the landslide.
"I came into Brad's office early in the week, we wanted a real mentality to go after their forwards [early on]," Mahoney said.
"It was what was best for the team, to start with four forwards. That's what we did and I thought we started pretty well [before] a few tries there that were really soft tries."
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Mahoney didn't expect it to be a recurring plan, though he stressed he had no issue starting from the bench if it's in the best interests of the team.
"I expect to be starting next week. That's not why we lost by 60, it was just what was best for the team this week," he added.
Mahoney said the losing margin was unexpected after a good week of preparation, according to Mahoney.
"Embarrassing. You never want to be on the other side. It's not a nice feeling. If we want to be finals contenders we can't throw up that. That's a [reserve grade] performance," he said.
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"We had a really good week training, good captain's run and came up here feeling really confident.
"I didn't expect that at all. I expect to win every week and that's my mentality every week, is to win."
"That's all I want to do, is win. I'm a bit of a sore loser, I hate losing and it just goes to show you can't turn up half-hearted in the NRL or teams will do that to you. The Melbourne Storm absolutely pulled our pants down."