Dyldam Parramatta Eels Head Coach Brad Arthur has singled out his side’s direct style and focussed attitude as the drivers behind a welcome 26-22 win over the Melbourne Storm at AAMI Park on Monday night.
The victory came despite fullback Reece Robinson leaving the field with a suspected fractured cheekbone in the opening minutes, hooker Nathan Peats being seen to twice for eye and knee complaints, and several Eels finishing the match on the sideline.
“I thought we were looking pretty dangerous with the ball when we were just carrying nice and hard and strong and straight,” Arthur said.
“We thought if we kept pushing around the footy and playing nice and direct, both sides were starting to get tired.”
“We were probably out on our feet a bit with the injury toll that we had; we had blokes playing all over the shop and at one point we were trying to work out who was where. It was a pretty tough effort.”
The 2 Premiership points mark a rebound from a heartbreaking 36-30 loss to the North Queensland Cowboys in Round 13, and Arthur identified the difference between the two a ramped up level of resolve.
“The boys have been trying really hard over the last five weeks, and we’ve found ways to lose a game [despite our effort],” Arthur said.
“I think tonight we found a way to win a game, especially when our backs were against the wall. If we had that resolve when we were at 30-6 last week a bit of killer instinct might have been the difference for us.”
“Every victory’s great but that one has come at a good time for us, we needed it.”
With Sydney media outlets speculating in the lead up to the match about halfback Chris Sandow, Arthur said the combination between his 6 and 7 was striking a balance to lift the Eels to the win.
“We know how dangerous Chrissy can be if he keeps his head in the game for 80 minutes,” Arthur said.
“He’s very good with the ball. Then Corey Norman at the moment for us is controlling our game, and he takes a bit of pressure of Chris and allows Chris just to get the footy and run and play what he sees.”
Blue and Gold fullback Reece Robinson, hooker Nathan Peats, and interchange dummy half Kaysa Pritchard will all undergo scans following Monday night’s win.