Arthur: We have to be mentally tougher

After his side let in five tries in 12 minutes to let their lead over the North Queensland Cowboys slip away, Dyldam Parramatta Eels Head Coach Brad Arthur has put the loss down to a lack of mental strength.

“That’s one of several now,” Arthur said about the game being one that shouldn’t have got away.

“We’re a 70 minute team, we have got to be mentally tougher.”

“When momentum swings against us and we just don’t know how to wrestle it back.”

The Eels had a 30-6 lead over the Cowboys but then let in 30 unanswered points in 12 minutes, in what Arthur said is a mental lapse in the team’s game.

“There were 11 sets there in a 10 minute period where we had two. We’ve just got to be mentally tougher and it’s disappointing,” Arthur said.

“In those 11 sets, we just needed to defend one set and get the ball back but mentally, I don’t know if it was a confidence thing, it cant be a confidence thing we were up 30-6, we just need to be a bit more ruthless.”

“But mentally we need to be stronger, tougher.”

“We drop our heads, we hear the footsteps coming and we just can’t wrestle it back.”

Although they were 24 points up, Arthur knew it would be a difficult task to seal the win, as the Cowboys were coming into the game off a nine game winning streak.

“It’s never game over against a quality team like that and there was still plenty of time to go, I think there was 25 minutes still to go,” he said.

“That’s a game that we definitely threw away.”

“That 10 minute period, but that’s been us all year, played for 70 minutes, you can’t win games of footy for 70 minutes.”

“We got to learn to play for 80 minutes, and the 80 minutes doesn’t have to all be quality, but you’ve got to stay in the game mentally.”

“We had players that just removed themselves out of that game for 10 minutes.”

Arthur believes that if the team can put in an 80 minute performance each week, they will be able to secure two points every time.

“We had a bit of a chat and we’ll come back and have a look at the review, but there’s no point getting angry,” Arthur said of the performance.

“We need to find out why we’re just staying in games for 70 minutes, we need to work out what we need to do when momentum shifts against us.”

“We need all 13 on the field at the time to stand up with a bit of leadership.”