Matt Lodge admits Thursday night's torrid 25-minute shift was the shock to the system he needed in his fast-tracked injury return.
The Brisbane forward struggled to make an impact off the bench in a 34-6 NRL loss to Parramatta and said it showed where he and the team were at.
Lodge missed the first two rounds before the competition's postponement with a partial ACL tear, avoiding surgery and incredibly proving his fitness in time to come off the bench in the season's return.
Admitting he was underdone, Lodge said he and his teammates had plenty to improve on this Thursday against the in-form Sydney Roosters.
"I probably came back a little early, didn't get much training with the team and the game's definitely sped up," Lodge said in a nod to the one-referee and six-again rule changes.
"I wasn't rushing, but the medical staff cleared me to play so you can't say no after that.
"I'm definitely going to be better for playing that 25 minutes; I was capped at that and lucky to get through the 25 but the knee feels good and hopefully I keep building."
The Eels punished Brisbane's early ill-discipline to control possession and make the most of the rule changes designed to speed up play.
A keen watcher of the game, Lodge said he had been encouraged by the reforms even if his team had so far been exploited by them.
"It'll take a little bit of adjusting, especially us with a big middle," he said.
"But once we get up to speed I think it's good for the fans and the game to get rid of some of that wrestle and bash and barge stuff and play a bit of footy and open it up for some stars.
"The weekend showed where we're at; we've got a lot of work to do to beat a side like the Roosters.
"And it's hard to hide behind any stats or anything when you get beaten by that score; they did have the run of the play and more possession but we can only blame ourselves for that."
Australian Associated Press