Dyldam Parramatta Eels Head Coach Brad Arthur has praised his players - and the Blue and Gold Army - for a gritty 16-12 win over the St George Illawarra Dragons on Saturday night.
“The boys did it tonight for themselves and for our fans,” Arthur said.
“A big thank you to our fans, they were outstanding tonight. Our boys wanted to put on a show for them and I think we’ve done that.”
With 14 players unavailable from the Blue and Gold squad, new recruit Cody Nelson made his Eels debut in the number nine jersey, while Corey Norman moved into fullback for most of the Round 16 clash.
And while Norman alternated between fullback and the halves as the game unfolded, Nelson’s debut performance in Blue and Gold earned him an unplanned stay on the field.
“[Corey] didn’t get his hands on the ball as much as he’d like [at fullback],” Arthur said.
“That’s why we moved him back into the halves attack in the second half, but he was safe, he organised our defence and we won the game on our defence tonight.”
“And I was only planning to play him (Cody Nelson) for 25 minutes, but he just did his job. He got to dummy-half, he gave good service, he listened to the calls.”
“And more importantly, he was everywhere in defence.”
Arthur summed up the win as a welcome reward for weeks’ worth of effort.
“I think the last 7 games we’ve been turning up for each other, but we got a little bit of luck tonight, which you need.”
“The boys got together during the week and had a chat on their own and I think it showed tonight. It was a very tough committed win.”
“The defence, the commitment, the resolve.”