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Happy Arthur wants NRL success for Eels

He has recommitted to the NRL club for another season but Parramatta coach Brad Arthur could do another decade – he loves it so much.

As the Eels sit pretty in third place and charge towards finals for the second season in a row, Arthur says he wants to build a culture of success at the club for a long time to come.

“Give me 10 years, I’d love it,” the typically stoic coach joked on Saturday.

“I’m just fortunate to have a job. I love this club and I love working with this playing group. There’s no negatives for me.

“We’ll just keep working hard and while we’re working hard we’ll give ourselves every opportunity for me to stay here as long as I can.”

The welcome news of Arthur’s signing comes ahead of Sunday’s clash with Cronulla at Netstrata Jubilee Stadium.

Star forward Ryan Matterson will miss his second match in a row as a precaution after suffering a concussion in round 11 that wiped him out of the match early.

And while he will leave a hole in the pack against the powerful Sharks, Arthur said Matterson needs another week of rest before resuming hard contact.

“We’re always guided by the medical advice,” he said.

“I would love for our players to play every week but they’ve got families too and it’s their life and their career so we need to make sure we’re protecting them but try our best not to wrap them in cotton wool because they get paid to play.

“It just wasn’t the right time for him to play and that was the advice from our medical staff.”

Meanwhile, the match will have big significance for Cronulla with Sharks centre Josh Dugan to finally clock up his 200th NRL match.

The former Test and State of Origin star has been stuck on 199 games since round 10 as he has battled injury, but is set to finally achieve his milestone on Sunday.

“I’m so happy for Duges, he’s had so many setbacks in his career and he’s had some ups and downs that he’s always had to fight through and he’s found his way back,” said coach John Morris.

“Every single time that he pulls on that jumper he gives you his best.

“He’s been knocked at times but always came back and found a way to provide massive performances for us on the field.

“I’m so happy for him, he’s a massive part of our club.”

The Sharks are aiming for four straight NRL wins and see it as a chance to knock off a genuine title contender.

“It goes without saying that all these wins are absolutely crucial,” Morris said.

“Some sides are starting to knock each other off around the cusp of the eight and we’re looking to really embed ourselves within that eight.

“It’s an opportunity for us to stand up to a genuine top-four team.”

*STATS THAT MATTER*

*The Sharks have scored the most tries (4.7 per game) and second most points (26.7 per game) while the Eels are conceding the fewest points (12.5 per game) and the equal second fewest tries (2.2 per game).

*This is just the third time the Eels have won 10 or more of their first 12 matches to start a season (1964, 1977). The 1964 and 1977 seasons saw them go 12-1 through 13 games.

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