The Dyldam Parramatta Eels have come away with a 26-20 victory over the Penrith Panthers in the Round 12 clash at Pepper Stadium on Friday 29 May and Eels Head Coach Brad Arthur praised his side for their efforts.
“I think that has been a while coming,” Arthur said of the victory.
“Our last five performances, if you include tonight, they have really played tough and tried very hard and been courageous but we he have been a bit down on luck at times and making some crucial errors at times.”
With narrow defeats to the Warriors and Rabbitohs over the past few weeks, Arthur was pleased for his side who managed to fight through the adversity and come away with the two points.
“We sort of did that again tonight, some of our discipline got them back in the game, but it’s a credit to the boys because for the last four weeks they have stuck to the processes and gone about what we needed to do.” Arthur said.
“I am glad for them we got through the other side of it tonight.”
“They just need to get a reward for the effort they were putting in and tonight that was it.” Arthur added.
The Eels had come out of the blocks firing, scoring two early tries through winger Ryan Morgan and fullback Reece Robinson before entering the half time sheds with a 14 point lead after a Chris Sandow penalty goal.
However the second half saw a reversal of momentum and the Panthers fought back to level the score early in the second half.
Despite the level scoreboard, Arthur remained confident that his side would come away with the win.
“I have seen what they have been doing for the last month and how hard they have been working and everything we did tonight was a response and not a reaction,” Arthur said.
“At 14-all, we finally got some ball after the eleven sets to four to start the second half, and the first set we got down there we put on a try.” Arthur said.
Eels captain Tim Mannah agreed, “I thought the best part, whilst it was disappointing for us to let them back into the game, the way we clawed ourselves out of that and got back into the game and back on top was really pleasing to show a bit of fight there.”
Eels halfback Chris Sandow has had a turbulent past few weeks with a stint in the NSW Cup before playing fullback last week, and as he returned to his preferred position, he earnt Man of the Match honours after his one try assist, five goals and 463 kicking metres.
“Chris was very good tonight, but we need to make sure he does it week in week out for us,” Arthur said of his performance.
“Chrissy is pretty care free and I don’t think too much fazes him,” Arthur commented on Sandow’s past two weeks.
With Sandow kicking five from five, Arthur confirmed there hadn’t been any changes to the sides preparation which saw a reversal in form.
“They work hard every week, going into each game,” Arthur said.
“Last week they kicked 15 from 18 the day before at training. Sometimes it's just the occasion and maybe last week was just the occasion. We needed to win.”
Whilst Sandow earnt plenty of praise for his performance, Arthur credited five-eighth Corey Norman who controlled the team well last night.
“I think Corey Norman has been very good for us of late,” Arthur said.
“He has been sticking to the plan well and really controlling the team, which allows Chris to play a bit more off the cuff.”
“Corey is a big part of it. If Corey can steer the team around and the boys respond to Corey it gives Chris a bit of freedom.”
The Eels will take on the Cowboys on Monday 8 June and Arthur welcomed the ten day turn around.
“We have ten days now till our next game and we need a bit of a rest,” Arthur said.
“We have a few boys that are a bit battered in there so it’s a good time to rest up.”