PARRAMATTA are a club that has endured more than most in the last few seasons.
Brad Arthur has been through it all and it may be that his efforts are now starting to bear fruit.
In a season, where premiership fancies have so far floundered and those that were written off have proven the critics wrong, the Eels are one team with an unusual story to tell.
They started strongly, leading the competition after two rounds. It was the first time in 12 years the team had achieved such a feat.
After a convincing 34-16 away win to the surprise packet Dragons, many considered them contenders.
Yet it fell away quickly.
They lost four games on the trot before breaking that drought on Easter Monday, scoring the last three tries of the match in a come-from-behind victory to beat the Wests Tigers by four points.
Since then, Parramatta have found that winning feeling again, in the process producing some impressive performances.
On a five-day turnaround, the Eels hung on to defeat Penrith 18-12. This effort was replicated six days later, against an albeit very understrength Cowboys side, running out 26-6 winners.
Clint Gutherson was a standout on that night. The man who had been playing five-eighth and centre, seemed to appear right at home at fullback scoring two tries and kicking four goals.
Nathan Brown was another who starred against North Queensland, racking up 31 tackles and 186 metres gained. His hardened approach is evidence of the application shown by the forward pack in recent weeks.
Making the return to form all the more significant is the fact the Eels have done it without some of their key players. This includes the livewire Bevan French.
French was a revelation on the wing last year but a knee injury has seen him sitting on the sidelines for the past six weeks. There is some speculation that the Tingha product could return this week against the Sydney Roosters.
It is this clash that could turn out to be a significant moment for both teams. Each sits inside the top eight but it is perhaps the Roosters under the most pressure.
Trent Robinson’s side have been up-and-down with their form to start the year and arguably have not reached the heights many expected before the season commenced.
The contest between both halfbacks should be particularly enthralling. On the one hand, Corey Norman is pushing for Queensland Origin selection as he continues to show his importance to the Parramatta fortunes. On the other is Mitchell Pearce, who remains in the conversation for the Blues despite some dispute regarding whether he is suited at that level.
The Eels will also be facing future recruit Kane Evans on Sunday afternoon who, along with Mitchell Moses, are headline signings for next season.
Yet this year is still young and promises much for Brad Arthur’s men.
Parramatta were seventh on the ladder heading into the representative round. It is reminiscent of last season when the side found themselves in fifth position after eight rounds before the unfavourable salary cap findings were handed down.
However, Arthur has once again steeled his side to perform when the odds are against them. It is that experience of last year which may prove vital in the back half of this season.
A win over the Roosters will make it four in a row and provide further momentum that is gaining with every week.