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The Dyldam Parramatta Eels suffered a 14-12 defeat to the South Sydney Rabbitohs, and the loss was shattering for the Blue and Gold who had fought themselves back into the match which included a 4 point lead with 5 minutes to go.

However the Rabbitohs crossed through Cameron McInnes, before a conversion from Isaac Luke right in front, gave them a two point lead which they held on to, coming away with the victory.

“It was a tough one. We seemed to be beating ourselves,” Eels forward Richie Fa’aoso said after the match.

“I thought we had it there but it slipped away in the end”

“We are working hard and we are putting the hours into training but we just have to keep chipping away at training. It will turn” Fa’aoso assured the Blue and Gold fans.

With the Round 11 clash played in wet conditions, Fa’aoso said that the Eels adapted well to the circumstances to complete at 78%, however the physical toll by making close to 100 more tackles than their opposition paid the price in the end.

“The wet conditions didn’t make it too difficult,” Fa’aoso said.

“They were coming through the middle but we controlled it at times.”

“But we are making over 100 more tackles than the opposition and that makes it hard at the end” Fa’aoso added.

When the Rabbitohs kicked ahead with five minutes remaining on the scoreboard, Fa’aoso said the Eels were still positive that they could come away with the victory, however their mistakes proved to be costly.

“The mood was still good out there but we were beating ourselves really, with our mistakes,” Fa’aoso said.

“It makes it hard when you make mistakes.”

“You do so much more tackling than the other team and it just wears you out. That’s what we have to get better at.”

Despite the Eels crossing for three four pointers, compared the Rabbitohs two, the Eels missed three conversions which proved to be costly.

“The conversions, that’s hurting a bit too,” Fa’aoso said.

Head Coach Brad Arthur echoed Fa’aoso.

“They might have been the difference. It might have been two in a row,” Arthur said.

“They can kick, it’s just the moment, isn’t it? It’s the pressure surrounding it. Everyone knows we’re desperate for wins, and those kicks become just a little bit harder than they need to be” he added.

Despite the upsetting result, Fa’aoso looked at the positive of welcoming Junior Paulo back into the side after his 9 week suspension.

Paulo played limited minutes in his return, however the front rower featured in the starting side with 8 runs for 64 metres whilst also making 21 tackles.

“Junior is really good for us and it’s good to see him return,” Fa’aoso said of his fellow teammate.

“He brings a bit of second phase and I thought he was really good for us tonight.”

“He will only get better, he’s a really exciting young player and he’s going to be a superstar.”

Acknowledgement of Country

Parramatta Eels respect and honour the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.

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