PARRAMATTA coach Brad Arthur looked around the change room after his side's humiliating 56-4 defeat at the hands of the Sydney Roosters in round two and knew everything would be OK.
"I looked around and the boys weren't happy with it,"' Arthur said. "It really hurt them - and when I saw that I knew we'd bounce back from it."
On Saturday night, in front of 15,312 proud fans, the Eels completed their recovery from that awful result nearly a month ago, producing a disciplined and committed display to score a three-tries-to-two, 14-12 win over the reigning premiers at Pirtek Stadium.
"We've worked hard," Arthur said. "We were nice and honest after the Roosters game [in round two] and we said we don't want that effort ever again.
"Tonight we weren't great, but our effort was there. We defended our try line for a number of sets, we looked composed and we know there's a lot of trust there at the moment."
The effort was no better exemplified than when, with just two minutes and 38 seconds remaining in the match, Sonny Bill Williams crashed over the line only to be miraculously held up by Jarryd Hayne, with help from Chris Sandow. As Williams went for a second attempt at grounding the ball, captain Tim Mannah joined in to help deny the Roosters what would have been a last-gasp win.
Williams was marking his 100th NRL game, but it was the Eels who would do the celebrating after turning around a 12-10 half-time deficit and keeping the Roosters scoreless in the second 40 minutes to make it three wins in a row for the club for the first time since midway through 2010.
"The pleasing thing about the last few weeks is that we're coming to game day knowing that we're going to compete," Mannah said.
"We know everyone's going to turn up; I think that's been lacking over the years.
"We're building a big culture. Everyone's carrying their weight." Mannah said he didn't want his players to get ahead of themselves, however, as it was "still early days". But the attitude in the team was positive, he said.
Roosters coach Trent Robinson lamented his team's inability to finish off good lead-up work.
"We created a lot of opportunities, but just didn't ice any," Robinson said. "We're playing some really tough footy, coming up against really good teams and we're lacking just enough steely edge to finish the games."
Captain Anthony Minichiello said there was too much dropped ball from the Roosters.