A spray from Craig Bellamy may have Melbourne fired up, but Parramatta also won't be short of motivation ahead of Saturday night's NRL clash thanks to Blake Ferguson's looming milestone.
Eels coach Brad Arthur admitted he was wary ahead of their Magic Round showdown after hearing Bellamy uncharacteristically lash his team following their last round loss to Cronulla.
However, Arthur reckoned veteran winger Ferguson's 200th game milestone would ensure the Eels have plenty to play for at Suncorp Stadium in their ninth round clash.
Arthur said Ferguson had quickly made a difference since his off-season arrival at Parramatta - his fourth NRL club - and was a key reason why they had soared to fifth spot on the ladder (5-3 record).
"It's a nice occasion for Blake and his teammates to celebrate. Hopefully there is a little extra motivation for us to go out and start well for Blake," Arthur said.
"We have seen already the impact he has had on this group.
"He has really helped us with a bit of belief and confidence and I am sure his teammates are very prepared to repay him this week."
Still, Arthur was wary of a Storm outfit (4th; 6-2 record) still smarting from Bellamy's post-match tirade.
Bellamy threatened to wield the axe if players did not step up against the Eels following a shock 20-18 last round loss to an injury depleted Sharks.
However, Arthur said the Eels had little to fear while still buzzing from last round's 32-18 win over St George Illawarra.
"We are coming up against a team that don't lose two in a row very often and Craig has come out and given them a fair spray so their motivation is going to be high," Arthur said.
"But it's not intimidating. It's challenge for us. We know their situation.
"We are confident enough after last week's performance but our start is our priority for us.
"If we don't get that right then we don't give ourselves a chance."
STATS THAT MATTER:
* The Storm have the best record of any team at Suncorp Stadium winning 15 of 19 games including 10 of the past 11
* Melbourne's Will Chambers will play his 200th NRL match after making his debut in 2007 with the Storm
* Eels coach Brad Arthur has won just two games against the Storm (2015 and 2017) - his equal lowest tally against any team along with the Knights and Raiders
Australian Associated Press