Dyldam Parramatta Eels head coach Brad Arthur has refused to declare the Eels’ season over despite a tough loss 42-12 to the Newcastle Knights at Hunter Stadium on Saturday.
With a 4-point lead at halftime, the Eels couldn’t hold the home side back as they racked up 34 points in the second half alone to blow the Blue and Gold away.
And Arthur admits that while the answer to how the game slipped away was simple in football terms, it’s trickier to pin-point why his side couldn’t match their opponents for intensity.
“I’ve got no idea,” Arthur admitted following the game.
“But in terms of the football, the two fundamentals of the game [were the problem].”
“We didn’t complete our sets and we didn’t make our tackles.”
“We never talked about the scoreline [at halftime] we just talked about our intent; we didn’t have it in the first half.”
“We just didn’t play like we had been over the last month or so. It wasn’t Parramatta-like, for me anyway.”
Even in the face of a disappointing scoreline, Arthur was adamant his charges could bounce back for a final do-or-die match against the Raiders in Canberra in Round 26.
“We’re disappointed, but we’re certainly not done,” Arthur said.
“I’m sure the boys’ pride is hurting, and they realise that was a lost opportunity. We don’t want to finish our season on that performance, so we just have to go back and work hard.”
“We’ve had a few games like that this year where we’ve been up and down a bit and managed to bounce back.”
“We’ve been pretty honest all year in terms of how we need to improve, but I don’t think I’m going to get much out of showing too much video from that game; we’ve just go to go down to Canberra and play a decent game of football and work hard for each other.
“That’s all that matters at the moment.”
“Our season’s not over.”