The Parramatta Eels have gone down to a spirited Gold Coast Titans side tonight (Friday 17 March) at Cbus Super Stadium and Blue & Gold Head Coach Brad Arthur has put down the side’s lack of attention to detail and inability to build any pressure as crucial in the defeat.
“The first 15-20 minutes we have played like we have been for the first two weeks in terms of completing, playing high possession and playing good field position but then some silly attention to detail errors started to creep in and on the back of errors and penalties, for the next 60 minutes we didn’t build any pressure which is something that we have been pretty happy with for the first two weeks. We just didn’t do it” Arthur said.
“I thought defensively they scored a couple of tries off kicks in the second half and there is not much more we could do there except don’t give them the field position that they had.” Arthur added.
“We knew early that they were going to come out tough and throw everything at us. We had to have an attitude of expect the unexpected, they shifted the ball around, didn’t really have a lot to lose, and after 12-nil they got us a couple of times but that wasn’t the problem.”
“The problem was our attitude to possession and field position wasn’t good enough.”
The Eels were without half Corey Norman, and Arthur shot down the idea that the absence of the halfback had anything to do with the side’s poor attitude.
“The boys dropping the ball at the play the ball, or getting the timing wrong on their run, that has nothing to do with Corey. They were just simple fundamental errors that we have to get right and NRL players have to get them right.” Arthur said.
“Gutho’s strength is running the footy and he gave the ball to Beau early and packed up in support. I thought he ran the footy okay. You don’t give your halves any opportunities if you are turning the ball over.”
“We gave them back to back sets, especially the last twenty minutes of that first half, they had four or five sets in a row and that’s what we have been doing to opposition the last two weeks; strangling them.” Arthur added.
“They did it to us and they gave us a lesson in completing and playing a nice disciplined game.”
Eels co-captain and forward Tim Mannah echoed Arthurs’ sentiments.
“I don’t know if it’s complacency, I think our attitude and completion could be a lot better. Compared to what it was over the last two weeks, I thought it was a little bit low,” Mannah said.
“It hurts, take nothing away from Gold Coast they kept turning up and we knew they would, but I really see tonight as a lost opportunity.”
“A lot it them were simple fundamental errors and that isn’t really us. There were a lot of things tonight that we take a lot of pride in not doing so we are disappointed with some of the things we have come up with tonight,” Mannah added.
“We said last week it was Round Two and we weren’t getting carried away and now it’s Round Three, we aren’t going to panic too much.”
“We have a big game against the Premiers next week and we have to make sure we turn up with a better attitude.”
“I think the simple errors probably showed that our head wasn’t where it should be. We don’t usually do those sort of errors and there were too many tonight and it’s not really acceptable from our standards.”