Clint Gutherson has showed again he is turning into the No.1 man Parramatta want him to be, starring in their 32-10 NRL win over Canterbury.
In a clinical performance, the Eels led from the outset and quickly put paid to any hopes of a Bulldogs comeback early in the second half after two straight tries.
It took them to 7-1 for just the fifth time in their history, with the Eels now second on the table and behind only western Sydney rival Penrith at the top.
The only issue came in the form of a hip injury to Nathan Brown, who is set for scans with the Eels hopeful he may only miss a few weeks.
But as ever, the main man was Gutherson.
In the Eels big start to the year, Parramatta's fullback has almost become the forgotten man.
Reed Mahoney has been the breakout star, while Maika Sivo is back scoring tries for fun while Mitchell
But after being involved in four tries last week against Brisbane, the Eels captain again looked at ease against the Bulldogs.
He claimed the game's first when he loomed in support play after a Mahoney bust from dummy half, before breaking through the Bulldogs' paper-thin defence shortly after.
That made it 16-0 after 21 minutes, and by then the game was a good as done.
By the night's end, he had bust nine tackles and ran more than 200 metres before earning an early shower from coach Brad Arthur.
"He's just reliable," Arthur said.
"I don't have to do as much with the team on game day anymore, he takes full control of it with the messaging and what our plan is.
"His passes are getting better, we done a bit of work in that, in the preseason.
"Last week he put a couple of nice kicks in. But tonight I thought he carried strong early, they struggled to tackle him."
The fullback wasn't alone in starring for the Eels at Stadium Australia.
Canterbury were the only side Sivo hadn't scored against in his 53-game career before Saturday night.
By fulltime, he also had a double against them.
The first was a powerful effort from an Oregon Kaufusi offload, while his second after the break came off the back of Gutherson's quick hands via a tap on.
Bryce Cartwright also looked good, following on his promising night against the Broncos with a bat-back for a Shaun Lane try and nice ball for Marata Niukore to cross.
About the only first-half highlight for Canterbury was a heavy hit from Ava Seumanufagai which rocked Shaun Lane.
Otherwise they went the entire opening 40 minutes without earning a play-the-ball inside the attacking 20-metre zone.
Jake Averillo and Dallin Watene-Zelezniak crossed in quick succession in the second half to make it 22-12, but it was barely enough as Dylan Napa also finished with a shoulder injury.
"We just didn't come with an attitude to tackle well enough against a side that is big and physical," Bulldogs coach Trent Barrett said.
"And it showed tonight."
Australian Associated Press