It is easy to see that their year so far has not been the best, but for coach Stephen Kearney, he puts the Eels inconsistent form this year, down to one thing – a lack of hunger.
With ti being almost two years to the day since the Eels last one back-to-back games, the Eels were unable to get the win against Newcastle, after beating Penrith in a golden point thriller the week before.
For Kearney, he believes that his side did not show the urgency they did against the Panthers, but could not pinpoint as to why his side could not lift following a win.
“There were some elements of Saturday night, where the desperation and the hunger to do the little things in the game against the Knights, were not there as they were the week before,” Kearney said.
“Whether that is complacency, I am not 100% sure. We have addressed that early in the week, and I am pretty certain that you will see a different attitude on Sunday”.
Kearney will admit that whilst the recruits for 2012 have not fired on all cylinders from day 1, he does still have faith in their abilities, and will look to them to turn the Eels season around.
“It has been a challenge in that sense – in Willie’s circumstance, he spent a lot of the year out with injury,” Kearney said.
“Things have not gone to what we would have liked. I think the last month of footy, we have seen some real progress from Chris, which has been a real positive.”
With Tonga being named on a five-man bench, and with an apparent short-term injury to fullback Jarryd Hayne, Kearney is yet to decide on the nature of his final 17.
“I have not 100% made up my mind in terms of the make-up of the side with Willie,” Kearney said.
“We are pretty fortunate with Ryan Morgan, Cheyse Blair and Willie, we have some pretty hand players that can play in those positions.”