Parramatta second rower Ryan Matterson admitted the Eels were “shaken” by the Titans’ attack before halftime in their season opener, but claims the team’s ability to achieving a victory is a sign of their growth.
The Eels looked set for a big win after slamming five tries to two in the opening 33 minutes, before Gold Coast replied with three tries in six minutes.
The Eels ultimately hung on for a 32-28 win, and Matterson said the game was a prime example of the team being a more legitimate contender for premiership this season.
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“The game we had at the weekend, if it was last year, I don’t think we could have come back from a game like that,” he told Wide radio. 2GB World of Sports.
“Especially with the way the Titans came out, they put in a few points and kind of shook us up at halftime.
“If it was the old Parramatta side, we would have lacked maturity, but we kept a cool, calm, collected mindset and ended up winning.”
Parramatta’s 2021 season ended in a hotly contested semi-final against eventual Premiers Penrith, and Matterson said the disappointment of the loss drove the team through the summer.
“The work we did in the pre-season, especially with our maturity, has grown us compared to last year,” he said.
“With that tough loss to Penrith, coming out the way we did, we bounced back and had a tougher pre-season and we’re learning from that.”
The win was marred by a hamstring injury for Matterson, who said he expected to be sidelined for one to two weeks.
“At the start of the first half, I had a little tension,” he said.
“I ended up having my second stint and did it again.”
The Matterson-less Eels will be hoping to continue their unbeaten start to the season when they take on the Cronulla Sharks at PointsBet Stadium on Saturday.
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