Dyldam Parramatta Eels Head Coach Brad Arthur has described his team’s 10-4 win in Darwin as ugly but welcome, as the Blue and Gold defeated the Penrith Panthers for the second time in 2015.
Early in the game, Arthur’s side absorbed wave after wave of Panthers attack, conceding 4 points in the opening 40 minutes to trail 4-0 at halftime.
“The first half, I thought we defended really well,” Arthur said.
“At one stage we’d made nearly 100 tackles more, we’d defended 12 sets to 4. But defensively, we used up a fair bit of gas.”
“And when we got down the other end of the field, we were just too tired for the boys to get into position and our attack was ugly tonight.”
“To the credit of the playing group, they toughed it out. I’d much rather better execution to win a game of footy, but the end result, and playing tough like that is really pleasing.”
The Eels line up included Corey Norman, Brad Takairangi and Will Hopoate returning from injury, but Hopoate was forced to leave the field in the opening 40 minutes with a suspected hamstring strain.
“Manu did a great job going out into the centres there,” Arthur said of second-rower-turned-centre Manu Ma’u.
“The execution of our attack is a little bit down at the moment, we’ve just had a lot of chopping and changing in edges and positions and that showed tonight.”