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How chilled-out Arthur triggered perfect response from Eels

Eels players have praised the calm half-time approach of coach Brad Arthur for helping them reverse a shocking first 40 minutes of their season in their comeback win over Brisbane.

Players walked into the Suncorp Stadium sheds down 16-0 on Friday night after an error-riddled opening 40 minutes, including fundamental mistakes immediately before each of Brisbane's three tries.

You could forgive them for thinking a dressing-room spray would soon be reverberating around Suncorp Stadium. 

But after Arthur's matter-of-fact guidance during the interval, the players turned their fortunes around in fine style in a 24-0 second-half shut-out.

"I think that's one of the best things about it, Brad comes in and addresses the situation, he doesn't come in and go nuts because that's not going to help the situation," five-eighth Dylan Brown said.

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"You want to go into the next half composed and ready to go so he gave us a few messages we needed and to be honest we didn't need much, we knew what we were doing wrong.

"That was probably the best part about it, him saying that, we switched on, knew what we needed to do."

Skipper Clint Gutherson's early fumble attempting to reclaim a short drop-out was quickly compounded by a Nathan Brown error, with David Mead crossing straight after.

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Then back-to-back errors from Shaun Lane gifted the Broncos a chance with Coates bagging his first a couple of plays later.

Reagan Campbell-Gillard and Gutherson again spilled the pill before a Maika Sivo error was compounded by a Lane ruck infringement and just seconds later Coates crossed for his second.

"It was disgusting yeah. The first half was the complete opposite of what we were trying to achieve, complete every set," Brown added.

"If you've got the ball this year, it's the new rules, if you've got the ball you're going to win the game."

Brown and Tom Opacic added errors before the break to cap a sorry 40 minutes.

"He definitely got his point across because the boys responded," Opacic told

"It was good to start the season off with a win. We didn't play the best in the first half and we've got a lot to work on but we seemed to turn that around in the second half. It just shows we have it in us."

The Eels not only slashed their errors after half-time, the errors they did make in the second stanza were almost exclusively on the attack while throwing some attacking footy at Brisbane. They had a renewed vigour in their carries and defensive work and looked a totally different side.

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New signing Isaiah Papali'i was one of his side's best in the comeback and admitted his first half-time speech from Arthur wasn't what he had been told to expect.

"That's what I've heard from the outside in, I head he's quite an intense fella, if you get on his wrong side he can blow up quite well," Papali'i said.

"But when we walked in and half-time and the way he talked, it was definitely not the way I'd heard. I was quite shocked but I really enjoyed his half-time talk.

"There was no use in spraying what had already happened, it was more look forward to what we can do - 40 minutes was a long time so it worked out well."

Acknowledgement of Country

Parramatta Eels respect and honour the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.

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