Arthur: We Gave Ourselves a Chance

Dyldam Parramatta Eels Head Coach Brad Arthur has said the referees aren’t to blame for the Eels’ 46-20 loss to the Melbourne Storm on Sunday.

Speaking to the media after the Round 15 clash, Arthur said while he believed the standard of refereeing could improve, it wasn’t the only source of the Blue and Gold defeat.

“We know we need to be better,” Arthur said.

“We did really well to hang in there with 20 minutes to go. At 24-16 we were in the game, we gave ourselves a chance even though probably the stats say otherwise because we hadn’t had any ball.”

“We just didn’t have any luck,” Arthur admitted.

“[Hayne] slipped over and the ball ends up going dead. Dave Gower got put on report for a crusher tackle that wasn’t a crusher tackle. Things didn’t bounce our way but we just need to find a way to climb back on board this week and have a go [against the Knights in Round 16].”

And when it came to the controversial sin-binning of his halfback, Chris Sandow, Arthur said the source of the playmaker’s reaction was sheer frustration.

“Everyone was frustrated, even I was frustrated,” Arthur said.

“We were in the game and it got reduced to 12 men; they scored three tries in that time and it took away our opportunity to try and mount some pressure.”

“It needs to be a two way street with the respect; he probably shouldn’t have said anything.”

“Chris is just gutted that we lost, like the other 16 boys are.”

Co-captain Tim Mannah echoed his coach, pointing to a simple focus for his side heading into their next game.

“We’ve just got to learn to fight back a bit better.”