Arthur: The win wasn’t pretty
Dyldam Parramatta Eels Head Coach Brad Arthur has commended his players for their second half attitude adjustment to fight back from a 16-12 deficit at half time to come away with the two points over the Wests Tigers at ANZ Stadium last night (6 July).
With the Eels building an early 12-0 lead, through tries to Eels skipper Tim Mannah and half Luke Kelly, the Wests Tigers fought back with three tries to take a 4 point lead into the sheds at half time.
“We talked at half time and I think we turned up here after a couple of quick tries and thought we could just cruise to a soft win,” Brad Arthur said after the game.
“Our attitude wasn’t where it needed to be in defence, and they scored a couple of soft tries.”
“In the second half, we didn’t play smart, we played dumb, but at least we had a change of attitude towards our commitment of putting our bodies on the line, running a bit harder and making our tackles.” Arthur added.
Whilst Arthur was not happy with the Blue and Gold attack, the Head Coach was pleased with his players’ attitude to come away with the win.
“Our attack was ordinary and the last three-four sets we didn’t get to our kick,” Arthur said.
“We got a bit flustered in attack and did some silly things but it was good to find a way to win. It wasn’t pretty but I thought the Tigers tried really hard.”
“I think our attitude was better in the second half, and our attitude to the commitment and collision part of the game was finding a bit of rhythm, but in terms of our attack tonight, I wasn’t real happy with that.” Arthur added.
The Eels scored 16 unanswered points in the second half with Eels winger Semi Radradra crossing for two tries to score his 5th consecutive double and whilst Arthur praised his winger, he credited the tough work done by his forwards in the middle.
“Semi has been really good for us scoring tries, but we have been working hard with him on little bits and pieces in the game that he needs to do,” Arthur said of Radradra.
“He takes some good carries out of yardage, defensively he has been pretty good but tonight in the first half he wasn’t great, but to his credit he aimed up better in the second half.”
“Our forwards need to earn the right, and we tried to do that a bit better in the second half, and there was no point giving the ball to Semi if there is no space or if he has defenders climbing all over him,” Arthur added.
“We need to create those opportunities and that starts with carrying the ball nice and hard through the middle.”
The Eels overcame a terror record at ANZ Stadium, winning just one from their last nineteen appearances at the ground heading into the clash, and Arthur was pleased to come away with the two points before heading into the bye.
“The bye is two points and finishes off a pretty good period for us that we have had in this middle bit,” Arthur said.
“We have a few injuries and we have a few blokes that we are bandaiding up to get them through the moment so the bye has come for a good time for us. “
“Maybe Nathan Peats and Reece Robinson [would be return to return off the bye] but we don’t want to rush them. We are hopeful.”
The Eels have the bye in Round 18 before returning to ANZ Stadium to take on the Canterbury Bankstown Bulldogs on Friday 17 July.