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Ed Jackson

Blake joins Eels' NRL casualty ward

Waqa Blake is the latest Eels' casualty after injuring his knee against the Gold Coast. (AAP)

Parramatta captain Clint Gutherson was quick to identify who'll fill the gap for the Eels as the NRL club's backline injury woes deepened during the win over Gold Coast.

"Brad's up next," Gutherson quipped in Saturday's post-match press conference.

While Gutherson's comment about his coach Brad Arthur strapping on the boots was clearly in jest, the Eels are facing a real test of their depth in the outside backs.

With Haze Dunster (knee) out for the season and Maika Sivo (knee) and Sean Russell (ribs and lung) sidelined for an unspecified period, the last thing Arthur needed was Waqa Blake to limp off in the first half of the 26-20 win over Gold Coast at CBUS Super Stadium.

The Fijian tried to play on with his left knee heavily strapped but eventually had to concede defeat to what Eels medical staff fear may be a medial ligament issue.

It meant the Eels played for most of the game with backrowers Ryan Matterson and Bryce Cartwright in the centres.

Despite the square pegs in round holes across his backline, the Eels held off a fast-finishing Titans to claim their fourth win in five starts in 2023.

It was an outcome which left Arthur beaming, especially as Junior Paulo had been sin-binned midway through the second half for a shot on Titans' five-eighth AJ Brimson.

"That's why I want the boys to enjoy the win," Arthur said.

"Because we have faced some adversity and we're pulling through it and I don't know in the past if we would have pulled through that, especially when we got down to 12 men and they had all the momentum."

Arthur indicated in his pre-match press opportunity on Friday he still has two spots remaining in his squad, which could allow him to seek some fresh blood to his backs.

What's certain is that, even if Gutherson may fancy the idea, it won't be Arthur running out on to the field against Wests Tigers at Commbank Stadium on Easter Monday.

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