It is an injury crisis at the position that the Eels could ill afford, but it has become a reality – with Joseph Paulo to move into the pivot position, following a season-ending eye socket injury to mid-season transfer, Luke Kelly.
Paulo is no stranger to the position, having played at five-eighth as an 18-year old, as well as for the USA Tomahawks, the international side in which he represents.
“I’m excited for the challenge, I just want to do my best for the team,” Paulo said.
“There’s no pressure really.
“(Luke Kelly) gave me a few tips, just a few cues on how they play and just what I need to know as a ball player.”
With the Eels attack at times lackadaisical, Paulo said that he has been working with halfback Chris Sandow to rectify that.
“I just want to help Chrissy as best I can,” he said.
“We’ve been trying to work on a few plays but we just haven’t really executed this year, so hopefully we can turn up on Saturday and execute those plays.
“The boys just need a little bit of energy when things are a bit down and, yeah, I’m just lucky I come on at a time when we’re looking for that impact.”
With Melbourne looking rather hot and cold of late, Paulo knows that this only makes them hungrier for a victory, after coming off several losses.
“I know they haven’t been playing their best but they’d be hungry to get a win too – we’re just as hungry,” he said.