Parramatta are thriving under Brad Arthur after leaving their 2012-13 wooden spoons in the past.
New recruit Corey Norman says Parramatta are revelling in the NRL’s pressure-free zone as they leave the bad days of 2012-13 behind.
The Eels’ turnaround under Brad Arthur continued on Friday night when they outplayed Brisbane 25-18 at Suncorp Stadium to end a two-year drought on the road.
Their victory – giving them a 3-2 record over the first month – was also their first back-to-back win since 2012.
Former Broncos five-eighth Norman, who made an impressive return to Brisbane, said the young Eels were thriving while the outside expectations were low.
“Parramatta has no pressure on them,” he told AAP. “Everyone expects them to get the wooden spoon again.
“Brad has just come in with a system and we’ve bought into it.
“Everyone thought we would be terrible again and, although it’s only early in the year, the signs are good.”
Last year, under Ricky Stuart, Parramatta won just five matches, lost 19 and had the worst points differential in the NRL with -414.
But as skipper Tim Mannah continues to say, they’re not looking back, preferring to focus on the present.
“That’s what we spoke about day one with Brad at training,” Norman said.
“New coaching staff, new players and new team and we’ve got a new look on what we’re going to do.”
But although a 56-4 loss to the Roosters in round two made it appear little had changed in 2014, the Eels have quickly shown it to be an aberration.
“That wasn’t us, that was the Parramatta of old and we’ve shown each week we’ve built our game better and better,” Norman said.
“The best thing about that is we’re just showing up for each other.”
That resolve was shown in the first half as the Broncos enjoyed 60 per cent possession but couldn’t crack the visitors defence until Justin Hodges worked his magic on the stroke of halftime.
Wayward halfback Chris Sandow is fit and firing again, and they have dangers across the backline, but it’s Jarryd Hayne who stood tallest against Brisbane.
“Jarryd has a habit of popping up at the right time and making the big plays so it’s good for us,” Norman said.
“We have a young squad and a lot of the young boys look up to Jarryd so when he steps up it lifts them do.”