The Dyldam Parramatta Eels take on the NZ Warriors at Pirtek Stadium on Saturday 16 May as part of a triple-header for the Eels Round 10 Women in League clash and Head Coach Brad Arthur made several changes to his Blue and Gold line up this week.
The most significant change to Arthur’s side is Luke Kelly called in to the halfback position, replacing Chris Sandow.
However Arthur defended his decision earlier this morning (Friday 15 May) focusing on the importance of repaying the Blue and Gold Army with a week.
“We just need to make a couple of changes and you don’t get change unless you make some change,” Arthur said.
“The boys are hurting and it’s a real important game for us.”
“At home, we need to show our fans and repay our fans with a big game this week.”
With a new look halves pairing of Kelly and Corey Norman, Arthur stressed the importance of the team playing nice and direct against a big and physical Warriors side.
“There are things that Chris has to work on and he has been told those and he has been given a couple of weeks to go away and work on them. He is like every other player in the team,” Arthur said of Sandow’s relegation to the NSW Cup.
“There are expectations and if they don’t meet them, they get the chance to work on it.”
“We just need to simplify our game at the moment and Luke, one of his strengths is that he will kick long and keep it nice and simple and play nice and direct.”
“We just need to grind out a win.”
Arthur has been impressed with the way the Blue and Gold have hit the training paddock, however it was time to turn their hard work into strong performances on the field.
“I have no problem with the way we train,” Arthur said.
“We train really well all the time and there is lots of commitment with what we are doing but we have to turn that commitment into points on the field and try and get a win.”
“We need to learn to play and stay in the game for the full 80 minutes.”
“At times, I think we are trying to get the result over and down with and we just need to try and grind it out a little bit more” Arthur added.
And was the decision to drop Sandow and Joseph Paulo, two of the more experienced members of the squad, a warning to the rest of his side?
“We do need to lift. It’s not so much a warning [the dropping of Sandow and Paulo], times are tough and we need to get tough,” Arthur said.
“The results aren’t there at the moment but we will pull through and push through the other side of it.”
“We have been competitive in all our games but competitive isn’t good enough.”
“We need to win games and that’s where we are at.”