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Patience and ruthlessness positive traits for Eels

Parramatta's 28-4 win over an injury-ravaged Cronulla last weekend had to come the hard way but the fact they kept the foot on the throat of a vulnerable opponent is a good sign for Brad Arthur's men.

Eels sides of recent years may have become frustrated at their lack of points against a depleted opponent but the 2021 version, despite losing their halfback to a head knock, held on to their six-point half-time lead and ran in three late tries to kick away.

Prop Reagan Campbell-Gillard admitted a touch of sympathy for Cronulla's three starting middles, Aaron Woods, Braden Hamlin-Uele and Toby Rudolf.

Each had to play 80 minutes thanks to three failed HIAs (to Wade Graham, Briton Nikora and Will Kennedy) plus a knee injury to Sione Katoa.

"Especially with how the game's going and how quick it is, it's tough on forwards," Campbell-Gillard told

"Those three, if the team needs it they'll say yes, it's a non-negotiable. It's football, it happens, we capitalised on our chances.

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"The game's getting so quick, there's some tired bodies in the middle and we had some fresh legs coming on as well which kind of helped us.

"It's a cut-throat game, if injuries happen you're not going to take it lightly on the other team, it's foot on the throat and make sure you get the job done.

"If you give them a sniff of any football, they're a very classy team. It could have gone either way but we had those fresh legs on the bench to rotate and it worked out well."

The game opening up at the end allowed Campbell-Gillard to run away for his first try of the year off a lovely short ball from ball-playing prop Junior Paulo.

"I love playing with Junior. It makes my job a lot easier with a bloke like him and Nathan Brown as well around the middle with their footwork, ball skills and everything, it makes my life a lot easier to do what I do," Campbell-Gillard said.

The Eels enter round four as one of only two unbeaten teams, which is particularly pleasing given the team is still searching for its best form, according to RCG.

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"We've always spoken about having a strong start to the season," he said.

"As long as we're playing tough football and grinding out wins, that's something we're pretty happy and pleased with. It's just trying to get up with the speed of the game and making sure we're still fit.

"There's still one or two more games I reckon to get that game fitness. I'm feeling good but one or two more games and I reckon I'll be feeling pretty comfortable with that match fitness.

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Five-eighth Dylan Brown was pleased with Parramatta's patience, particularly with Mitch Moses off the field due to a first-half head knock.

"I know it's only round three and our attack was a bit off in patches but we were patient. They defended really well, credit to the Sharks," Brown said.

"We did the same thing last year (starting well) - you can have a good start but you just have to stay in it.

"We haven't been playing our best footy which is exciting. There's a lot of teams still trying to find their feet. The Tigers are going to be buzzing now after that win.

"Errors are the main thing (to improve). I dropped two then dropped one then dropped one again, each game. I need to get that out of my game but our attack was a bit scrappy, defensively I felt we were pretty good."


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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