Eels deny they’re falling apart

They’ve provisionally lost their premiership points, copped two consecutive losses, had a player charged with drug offences and two others dragged through the headlines.

But Parramatta players insist the NRL club’s walls aren’t crumbling down around them.

Already without five senior administrators due to an NRL suspension – and their on-field skipper in and out of rehab for personal issues – the Eels were further plunged into crisis on Wednesday when five-eighth Corey Norman was charged with drug offences.

But through it all, club captain Tim Mannah maintains Parramatta don’t have a culture problem and aren’t falling apart.

“You kind of get used to it at this place,” Mannah said.

“If anything we’ve been real resilient. I’ve been really encouraged to see how this group – the coaching staff and the playing group – have responded to a lot of adversity this year.”

Norman’s drug charge comes less than a week before what is almost a must-win game against Newcastle.

The Eels were one of the competition’s toughest teams over the opening two months of the season, but have dropped both games since the findings of the NRL’s investigation into their salary cap situation were announced.

Fullback Michael Gordon feels the results are not indicative of a drop in mood around the club.

“We had a game against Souths who came out desperate, they had four losses in a row, so they came for a really tough game and we got pipped in the last few seconds,” Gordon said.

“Melbourne are just a clinical team and we gave them too many opportunities and we didn’t take ours.

“They’re both top quality sides and you can’t take too much out of it.”

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