Much has changed in the short period since Parramatta and Sydney Roosters last met four rounds ago.
The Eels recovered from the round two 56-4 loss to win two of their past three games and leapfrog the defending premiers on the premiership ladder with the Roosters losing consecutive games for just the second time Trent Robinson took over as head coach last year.
As Parramatta continue to go from strength to strength, the Roosters struggled. The Roosters have managed 38 points in 240 minutes since piling on 40 second half points against the Eels. Parramatta battled hard in their last outing trailing 16-4 at half-time before capitulating in the second half.
The two sides again collide in different circumstances ahead of their match at Pirtek Stadium on Saturday night, as the Eels chase three consecutive victories for the first time since 2010.
Roosters centre Michael Jennings said he expected Eels would be a different proposition this time around.
“It’s a bit weird playing them again,” Jennings said. “They are a different side to what we played. It’s good to see little Chrissy Sandow happy and playing good footy.
“He is bringing the team with him.”
Sandow has led the Eels revival since being recalled to the top grade while hooker Nathan Peats also missed Parramatta’s previous encounter against the Roosters.
Genuine attacking opportunities have been infrequent for Jennings as the Roosters attack has struggled in recent weeks. Jennings said teams were taking it to the defending premiers.
“We haven’t scored too much,” Jennings said. “Our attack needs to get better. We were playing through the middle last week. It was wet so I had to get in and run through the middle.
“It wasn’t the quality ball where I wanted it on the edge.
“It’s been tough. We’ve had some tough losses. Teams are playing their best football against us. We spoke about it before the season started but it’s just now that some of us are realising it. We know teams are going to be tough against us we just to string a few wins together and we’ll be back on track.”
Winger Daniel Tupou has too been starved of the ball in recent weeks.
“It’s been a bit of a bludge,” Tupou said. “But I have had to get in there and take those carries to help the forwards out. Hopefully I can get more ball this week.
“[Robinson] wants me and Roger (Tuivasa-Sheck) to get in there and take the pressure off the forwards and give them a bit of a breather and try and help them out by getting more metres.
“We’re not executing well towards the end of the games.”