One coach was pleased and proud, the other not so. But can you pick the two without knowing? Eels coach Ricky Stuart, quite remarkably, said the 20-16 loss to the Bulldogs made him feel better than the round-one win over the Warriors did.
"It was a tough game of footy. It was a bloody tough game. I'm better off just repeating what I said to the boys," Stuart said. "I'm one very proud coach. Everything I've asked for over the last 14 or so weeks we've been together came out there.
"I was just so proud of them . . . I'm really impressed with the attitude and the culture we've got so early in our journey.
"I'm happier than I was this time last week after our 40-point win. I couldn't be more of a prouder coach."
In contrast, Bulldogs coach Des Hasler lamented that the enterprise of their round-one loss to North Queensland was not repeated against the Eels.
"Probably the only thing you could take out of it was the defensive display," Hasler said. "It was pretty scrappy, it was pretty poor. We just couldn't do anything with the possession, and the possession we had, we gave away.
"We certainly gave them plenty of opportunities. From that aspect, it's pretty disappointing, particularly coming off the game last week against the Cowboys, where we were particularly enterprising with the ball."
The Bulldogs now face Melbourne, their opponents in last year's grand final, next Thursday, with Hasler conceding that the side would have to "improve quite a bit".
They will have to do so without fullback Ben Barba. Hasler confirmed last year's Dally M medallist would not play despite returning to the training paddock following his break from football.
"We'll judge it on its merits," Hasler said. "It's a short turnaround Thursday. He won't be playing against Melbourne.
"[But] he's very convicted in what he has to do. He's very appreciative of what's turned out. The main thing about it is Ben showed great conviction to do what he did. And the great thing about it now is he has a fantastic safety net and we'll continue to work away at that. There's no need to rush Ben. I don't know when Ben will play but he will play at some stage."
Following Thursday night's match, the Eels will face a nervous wait over two of their players; back-rower Reni Maitua limped off with an ankle injury, while fellow forward Darcy Lussick was placed on report for a high tackle on Dale Finucane.
The match also featured some shoulder charge debate. After Eels halfback Chris Sandow's strong tackle on Josh Morris helped dislodge the ball from the Bulldogs centre, leading to Cheyse Blair crossing the line late in the first half, video official Bernard Sutton looked at several replays before deciding the try should not be disallowed due to a shoulder charge.
Former referees boss Bill Harrigan, in commentary for Triple M, claimed it was a shoulder charge. Stuart said it was not.
"There was no way in the world it was a shoulder charge," Stuart said. "I was so happy that they didn't rule a shoulder charge there, because it could put a real dampener on rugby league. If that was classified as a shoulder charge, we may as well go and get some of those tags, and put them on our shorts and play Oztag.
"I've been really happy over the last two weeks with how the refs have been going. We're not talking about them. Isn't that good? Although I'll probably be in here next week blowing up."