Eels firebrand Nathan Brown has promised to retain his trademark aggression upon returning from suspension on Sunday but doesn't plan to target Broncos enforcer Matt Lodge.
Enemies when they meet in a sudden-death final at Bankwest Stadium, Brown and Lodge were briefly clubmates at the Wests Tigers in 2014 - though they never played in the top grade together.
Both men featured in the under-20s for the Tigers but didn't become NRL regulars there. Brown departed after the 2014 season having been starved of opportunities, while Lodge was sacked the next year over an off-field incident.
While a reformed Lodge is now the leader of a young Broncos forward pack, Brown said he isn't intending to make a statement by going after the 24-year-old.
"It's just another game to us. They've got a lot of strike weapons around the park so it's a good challenge, they're a good team and we've got to be on our game," Brown told NRL.com.
"[Lodge and I] had a good young career there at the Tigers. It's good to see him doing well at Brisbane. It's just business, another game.
"It's going to be a highly intense game, so we've got to match their intensity."
From unknown to Eels' playmaker
Brown declared himself "ready to go" and "mentally and physically fresh" after spending the past two matches on the sidelines for shoulder-charging Bulldogs fullback Dallin Watene-Zelezniak.
It was the Parramatta lock's first ban as an NRL player and he won't alter his style based on the incident.
"It's just footy, man. It's the way I play," Brown said. "I like to play footy nice and hard and those things happen."
Brown's comeback is timely with starting prop Kane Evans to miss the clash after copping a one-week suspension for a high tackle on Manly's Brad Parker.
Daniel Alvaro is set to take his place in the run-on side, while Tepai Moeroa will come onto the interchange.
"We've got a good depth of forwards so whoever comes in will do the job," Brown said. "Semi-final footy, the whole team's got to be on our game for the full 80 minutes."
Parramatta have serious weaponry on each flank with cult hero Maika Sivo and NSW Origin star Blake Ferguson among the game's best finishers.
All the recent attention has focused on Sivo, who clinched this season's top try-scorer title with a hat-trick against the Sea Eagles last week, and Ferguson admitted it's been nice personally to fly under the radar for a change.
"It's probably good. [Sivo's] a really good player and we're happy that he's come on the way he has," Ferguson said.
Ferguson is only two games back after a knee infection and a bad reaction to antibiotics put him out for six weeks.
Eels v Broncos - Elimination Final
"I'm enjoying it. Obviously the stakes go up with semi-finals, so I'm just looking forward to playing and hopefully we can get the job done," Ferguson said.
After losing weight due to illness and then force-feeding to bulk up again, Ferguson insisted his power hasn't waned - evidenced by his past two returns of 168 and 111 running metres.
"I'm right. I think the rehab staff here and the trainers have done a pretty good job helping me get back to where I need to be to play my best," he said.
"I definitely need to finish the opportunities off. It's a good time right now at the club and we just need to make sure we take every opportunity as a whole group."