“It’s a tough old comp. We weren’t great that day. But we’ve shown in rounds one and two this year we have grown as a group and that game hasn’t been spoken about – it won’t be spoken about.”
Eels coach Brad Arthur also refused to focus on recent history as a guide for Thursday week’s clash at Suncorp Stadium. He was happy just to know when his side was playing rather than who against. Parramatta and Brisbane, who always rate well on TV, are undefeated after two rounds.
“They’ll be a totally different team to the one we played last year, teams change year to year and even week to week,” Arthur said. “It was a bad day for them, we won’t look at that game and they won’t either.
“They’ve played well the first two rounds this year, they’ve played with energy and attacked well. They might also have a few blokes come back into their team, which will help.”
Seibold said David Fifita would come out of a knee brace in the days before kick-off, and was likely to return by round five or six.
Prop Matt Lodge, however, who feared he had ruptured his ACL at the start of the season – only to learn later he had a partial tear – could still line up against the Eels, who were keen to sign him last year.
Another bonus for the Broncos is Seibold had already done plenty of homework on Parramatta after studying their round-two Gold Coast win when he was preparing to face the Titans in round three.
“Matt Lodge will be thereabouts, he’s been back in the skills drills today and will do some more Saturday,” Seibold said.
“If he’s in doubt, we’ll be smart about it but he’s done a really good job. If he’s not right for round three, he will be for round four.
“He’s done a hell of a job. He’s played with that partial tear in his ACL since 2015, which is incredible really.
“Parramatta played exceptionally well that night, they’re a really fast team, they keep the ball alive with a lot of offloads and they’ve got a lot of weapons. Brad Arthur has done a tremendous job with the team the past 15 or 16 months since a challenging 2018 for them.”
Arthur has the luxury of a full-strength Eels squad, including a fit Reed Mahoney who used the COVID-19 isolation period to overcome a foot injury.
Christian covers rugby league for The Sydney Morning Herald.