Eels’ Brown rediscovering his NRL groove

George Clarke |

After a promising start to his NRL career Parramatta five-eighth Dylan Brown had a frustrating 2021 season with the Eels.

Now the 21-year-old looks more mature, assured and every chance of winning representative honours for New Zealand later this year.

The five-eighth had a hand in the Eels’ first two tries in their 48-14 win over St George Illawarra on Sunday.

He first sidestepped Dragons fullback Moses Mbye before a jinking run to engage the Red V No.1 allowed Mitchell Moses to add the Eels’ second.

Brown then rounded out the rout with a beautiful cutout pass to winger Waqa Blake as the Eels cantered to victory.

It wasn’t all so easy for the Eels, who went in with a 12-8 lead at the break, before blowing the Dragons off the park in the second half.

Previous iterations of this Parramatta team might have taken their foot off the gas but Brown took heart from how the Eels rebounded to deliver an emphatic win.

“The scoreboard wasn’t the best reflection of how we played,” he said.

“We did play well but there’s a lot to fix up especially on our defence and we still feel like they shouldn’t have got that many points.

“We were happy with things but there’s a lot to work on.

“It’s weird you can feel like you are dominating the whole game and we knew once we started playing through and kicking to corners in the second half (we could go on with it).

“(And) it turned out to be a good result for us in the end.”

Brown’s running game earned comparisons with Benji Marshall in commentary and there is a good chance if the Parramatta playmaker continues his impressive form that he will earn his first Test cap for New Zealand later this year.

Brown only contributed two try assists for his club throughout the whole of last season, but already has five to his name in 2022.

“I think he’s taken a bit more ownership and he came up with a couple of nice passes,” Eels coach Brad Arthur said.

“He’s 60 games (into his NRL career) so he needs to step up. Dylan is stepping up and Mitch is happy for him to take a bit more control.

“Our spine was great – they’re calm no matter the situation. That’s the big difference, I think they have shown the way for us in the first few rounds.”