He flew the coop mid-year to a team now vying for a NRL premiership, but Canberra prop Joseph Paulo has likened the Raiders’ culture to that under Brad Arthur at Parramatta.
Ahead of his first match against his former teammates on Sunday, Paulo is adamant the defensive steel that has defined the Raiders’ push to title contention isn’t far removed from the resilience at the Eels.
Parramatta, sitting in 14th spot, have been playing for pride over the past fortnight.
“There’s not too much difference, you know,” Paulo said of playing under Raiders coach Ricky Stuart.
“The culture’s the same. Ricky’s all for the boys and so was Brad when I was at the Eels. Down here, we’re building a good culture with all the boys buying into what Ricky’s got in place for us.
“As long as everyone’s putting their hand up and performing the way the coach wants us to perform, stringing together a few performances, then we’re going good.”
The wheels are beginning to wobble at Parramatta as the effects of a scandalous season begin to take their toll on the playing group, who put up little resistance last week against Brisbane.
It was their fourth loss in five games, however Paulo insists the Parramatta players will tough it out for the rest of the season and provide a challenge for the third-placed Raiders at GIO Stadium.
The Eels handed Canberra their heaviest loss of the season, a 36-6 humiliation, back in round six.
“The boys, they’re real resilient over there. They don’t let nothing get to them,” Paulo said.
“They’ve handled everything exceptionally for whatever’s been happening off the field and on the field as well, losing a couple of the boys throughout the year.
“They’ve done solid. It’s a test for us to come up against them.”
The 22-year-old believes there isn’t much of a difference between the two clubs.
“The only difference I see is it’s much colder down here in Canberra than it is in Sydney,” he said.
“I don’t think they care much where they are on the ladder at the moment. They’re playing for pride and, obviously, we’re playing for a good position for the back end of the year.”