NRL 2022 news, Jake Arthur, Parramatta Eels, Nathan Cleary, social media trolls, abuse

Parramatta teenager Jake Arthur has found an unlikely ally as he faces intense criticism on social media.

Arthur bore the brunt of the frustration of Eels fans during and after a surprise eighth round loss to North Queensland.

Club supporters are apparently dirty on manager Brad Arthur for selecting his son to play five-eighth, while moving highly paid playmaker Dylan Brown to center left in recent weeks.

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At one point during Saturday’s 35-4 loss to the Cowboys, Parramatta’s social media team resorted to tweeting “Arthur’s joke is enough. It’s not funny.”

The coach has been forced to make drastic backline changes amid a crippling injury record, but many are unhappy with his 19-year-old son playing a key role in the team, given the performance achieved.

Arthur, however, can take advice from Penrith champion half-back Nathan Cleary.

Cleary is also coached in the NRL by his father – Ivan – and at 24 has already endured the best and worst of professional rugby league.

“I think it’s about prioritizing who you listen to, that’s the most important thing I’ve worked on,” Cleary told media in response to Arthur’s news.

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“If you listen to trolls all the time, trying to please them, you end up getting nowhere.”

Nathan and Ivan joined forces three years ago when the latter jumped ship from the Tigers to coach Penrith, and the pair led the Panthers to the premiership in 2021.

Cleary can certainly relate to how awkward it can be for Arthur to be selected by his father at the Eels.

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“The first year we were together was pretty tough,” Nathan said of him and Ivan.

“It wasn’t easy all the time. It was tough at the start, if I’m being honest.

“Once we got through it, it actually made us strong. It probably helped our relationship as well, we’re closer than we’ve ever been.

“Having that rough start allows you to move on and grow from there.

“As for Jake, it’s tough when you’re tough, but personally I’m glad it happened to me at such a young age because it allowed me to grow through it.”

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