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Scott Bailey

We let Jake Arthur down: Senior Eels stars

Senior Parramatta players say criticism levelled at Jake Arthur (c) is unfair and have defended him. (AAP)

Senior Parramatta players have admitted they let Jake Arthur down, adamant the teenager did not deserve the brunt of criticism for their flogging from North Queensland.

Arthur was on Tuesday included in the reserves for the Eels to take on Penrith, as their injury crisis was somewhat relieved with Tom Opacic named to return at centre.

It means Dylan Brown can revert to five-eighth alongside Mitch Moses, where Arthur had been filling in for the past two weeks.

But Eels captain Clint Gutherson and Moses want to make one thing clear: Saturday night's 35-4 loss was not on the man wearing the No.6.

On a night of social media drama, Parramatta made the call to defend Arthur online amid claims of nepotism from fans angry about his his father Brad Arthur's selection.

"He's not the reason we lost," Moses said.

"Those critics weren't there the week before when we won by 40 (over Newcastle).

"He can play footy. He is a great player. We back him to the death, he has won us games before.

"As senior players we weren't up to scratch to help him out and help him get a win.

"Every player was not up to what our standards are. Run hard, tackle hard. We just didn't show up."

Moses was also adamant the change in the halves had not impacted his game, pointing to the previous week's flogging of the Knights as evidence of that.

Gutherson backed up Moses' stance.

"Mitch nailed it on the head," the Eels fullback said.

"We have let him (Jake Arthur) down. It's not his fault we lost that game on the weekend.

"I thought he actually played pretty well, I don't know where all this has come from.

"It's the other 16 people who played that game. I'll put my hand up as captain of this club. It wasn't just Jake."

Hooker Reed Mahoney said Arthur had not been impacted by the criticism and was able to block most of it out by not being active on social media.

"He was fine," Mahoney said.

"We laughed about it a bit. He didn't take it personally.

"But it's unfair for him to sit there and cop it all. It's the whole team, it's definitely not just on him."

Opacic's comeback will be subject to him overcoming a neck injury, with Parramatta having been without six members of their backline plus fallback option Marata Niukore.

Brown had previously spent time in the centres in the pre-season, while it's believed the Eels did not want to weaken their middle by moving Ryan Matterson or Bryce Cartwright out wide.

In further good news for the Eels, winger Sean Russell is also set to make his return in reserve grade after suffering a punctured lung in round one.

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