Fox Sports' Matthew Johns has lit the fuse for Parramatta's end-of-season flourish, with Eels veterans furious over his criticism of their form reversal since Steve Kearney's sacking.

Lock Reni Maitua slammed Johns - who has called upon Parramatta's senior players to take responsibility for Kearney's demise - for "talking crap".

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"It's not fun when you're being constantly scrutinised in the media and you've got Matty Johns talking crap about the team every week," he said.

"If he's got that big an opinion of us then he should come down to training and give us a hand.

"We've tried everything and it's a shame we are only just beginning to win without Steve (Kearney).

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"I can understand some criticism because we were losing, Nike Air Max salebut enough is enough.

"He's talking out of school and he's talking out of line.

"He seems to be having a dig at the senior players.

"If he wants to have a go then be a man and name names. Don't let a guy like Nathan Hindmarsh fall into that category.

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"He's an inspiration for our team and it's starting to get under my skin and the rest of the boys when he constantly scrutinises the senior players."

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It's the second time this season that Johns has raised the public ire of a senior player, with Tigers skipper Robbie Farah engaging in a memorable on-air debate with the NRL on Fox over criticism of the club's forwards.

But Johns refused to back down from his opinion of Parramatta. But he did clarify that none of his criticisms were directed at Hindmarsh.

"Reni has got the right to defend his senior players and I fully appreciate that," Johns said.

"I don't know the week-to-week politics of Parramatta or whether the players lost trust in Steve.

"But I have the right to stick up for Steve Kearney, who I believe is a fine man and a good coach.

"And as a commentator I have the right to an opinion.

"Already this season I've criticised the Tigers and I've criticised Newcastle - a club I played at for 10 seasons.

"I'm not picking on Parra, I'm just calling it as I see it.

"Good on Parramatta for turning things around.

"But like a lot of people, I've got to wonder where this form has been all season."

Maitua said the key to Parramatta's stunning about-face came four weeks ago, when the senior players approached Kearney to change the team's attack.

There were glimpses of improvement in losses to Canterbury-Bankstown and Manly.

But in the fortnight since Kearney's sacking the new style has sprouted wings to deliver boilover wins against Melbourne and Brisbane.

"It was about giving our halves more accountability and getting their hands on the ball," Maitua said.

"We probably should have recognised it earlier.

"We put something in place while Steve was here and now it's starting to work.

"We all loved Steve. We all think he's a great bloke.

"But unfortunately things didn't work out for him and the club moved on."

Maitua implored Johns to do likewise.

"I'm sick of hearing his comments every week."

 


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