Coach Brad Arthur admits he was tempted to ignore medical advice to rest Jarryd Hayne during the State of Origin period.
But the move proved a masterstroke with the Eels closing in on their first NRL finals appearance since the 2009 grand final.
Hayne was rested after Origins I and III as the Eels slumped to heavy losses to Penrith and the Warriors.
With the superstar No 1 back after his NSW duties, Parramatta have strung together three successive wins post-Origin - their only loss was to premiership favourites South Sydney.
While other Origin players struggled after its conclusion, Hayne is in epic form ahead of Friday night's round 23 clash with struggling Canterbury.
He crossed for try doubles in his last three matches to notch up 100 career tries.
"I reckon the rest has helped," Arthur said.
"I wasn't happy about it, [at the time] when you lose your star player, no one is going to be happy about it, but there is no point having them [medical staff] here if I don't trust them.
"So far it has paid off for Jarryd.
"He knows that while our forwards need to be good to play off the back of, he needs to inject himself when the opportunity is there."
The Eels can leapfrog the Bulldogs into the eight with a win against what Arthur expects will be a Canterbury side desperate to snap a four-game losing streak.
"They are a strong side, their pride will be hurt and I'm sure Dessie will have them fired up," he said.
"They will be thinking their season is on the line, so they will be desperate.
"I would probably prefer to be meeting them off a couple of wins.
"But if we want to be any good and we want to advance any further we have to beat everyone when they are at their best."
Moses Mbye replaces the suspended Josh Reynolds for the Dogs.
Aiden Tolman comes into their starting side for Sam Kasiano who has been ruled out for a month with an ankle injury.