Gutherson says Eels fighting NRL flat spot

Clint Gutherson will play his 100th NRL game for Parramatta this weekend.
Clint Gutherson will play his 100th NRL game for Parramatta this weekend.

Skipper Clint Gutherson says Parramatta are finding new ways to win as they go through a "flat spot" in their NRL season.

Before Gutherson's 100th match for the club - against Cronulla on Sunday afternoon at Netstrata Jubilee Stadium - the Eels have lost the early-season swagger that had them installed as premiership favourites.

Last round they almost blew an 18-point lead before sneaking home against last-placed Canterbury.

Gutherson says Eels teams of the recent past may have crumbled under that pressure but they have held tough to win five out of their past six games.

"I was proud of how we kept turning up; we didn't touch the ball for long periods there but the way we kept defending our line ... we got the result in the end," the fullback said.

"The last couple of years, those games, we'd probably end up losing by four or 10 points.

"We've probably going through a bit of a flat spot at the moment where not everything is flowing as it was but every team goes through it and you've just got to find a way out."

They sit third after 12 rounds with their performances enough for coach Brad Arthur to sign a contract extension on Wednesday until the end of the 2022 season.

The Sharks have an impressive record against Parramatta, winning six of their past seven matches since 2015, and Gutherson expected another tough challenge.

"They've got a great team and they've got some big names back this week and I think it's (Josh) Dugan's 200th as well, so they're going to be up for it," he said.

Meanwhile, Gutherson said the Eels were rallying around Ryan Matterson who will miss his second game in a row as he deals with concussion symptoms.

The star second-rower has a history of head-knocks, missing eight weeks through the 2018 season with ongoing issues.

"He's just taking his time to get back and we've got players who can step up in his position and until he's ready we will have his back," Gutherson said.

Australian Associated Press