Dyldam Parramatta Eels centre Willie Tonga has labelled Monday night’s narrow loss to the Wests Tigers as the worst the Blue and Gold has played this year.

Despite the four tries the Eels put on the board, Tonga said the failure to follow through in the second half was particularly disappointing.

“We’re pretty filthy on ourselves that we let it get to that point,” Tonga said.

“I think if we kept going on with it we could’ve run away with the game.”

“I think that’s the worst that we’ve played this year and that’s not the way we want to play this year.”

But even with a 3-point loss from the Round 7 match, Tonga sees positives in the way the Eels side is improving week-to-week in the Telstra NRL Premiership, and the veteran centre is happy to take on an informal leadership role with his young teammates.

“We’ve got a lot of young boys coming through that are still learning the game so there are positive signs here,” Tonga said.

“Without putting that sort of title on myself [as a leader], with the experience that I’ve got in the game I’m trying to help them as much as I can and they’re willing to learn as much as they can.”

“They’re asking questions as well, which is really encouraging and positive for us.”

“We know what we need to do to get to the level that we know how to play at, so it’s just a matter of getting back tomorrow, getting back on the bike and doing that.”

“We’re just looking forward to bouncing back against North Queensland.”

The Dyldam Parramatta Eels take on the North Queensland Cowboys on Saturday, April 26, at 1300SMILES Stadium in Townsville.