Pressure off the Eels

Parramatta Eels coach Brian Smith says he can?t explain the club?s turnaround in form, but is relieved that his side has registered their first win of the 2004 NRL season.

Speaking after yesterday?s defeat of Brisbane at Suncorp Stadium, Smith said it was a dramatic game and he was proud of the effort his players displayed.

?I thought the planets were all lining up for a while - I'm not sure which planet some people were from out there today,? Smith said. ?That all just added to the drama, and just added to the amount of character that the boys had to show - the way they prepared this week, they put everything aside and they did it great - it just kept getting worse and worse during the game but they just didn't let it interfere with the target of the day, which was to get a win.?

The game was sloppy from start to finish but the Eels managed to finish stronger and ensure the pressure was taken off them ? at least for a week.

The Eels had been under intense scrutiny following a first-up thrashing at the hands of the Bulldogs and the departure of Jamie Lyon.

At the post-match media conference, Smith blasted those reporting rumours about Lyon, who walked out on the club due to personal reasons.

?Jamie has some things that need to get sorted,? Smith said. ?Hopefully all the people that are frustrated fairy tale writers and gossip mongers ? can have a look in the mirror and ask themselves are they printing something that actually know or are they printing something that someone else has fed them, and are they making fools of themselves in doing so.

?We want him back playing footy - but ultimately we want him to make the best decision for himself - which must be tough at the moment.?

Smith said the Eels ability to never let go and to compete from start to finish is what ultimately earned his side the two competition points.