Arthur Round 23
Dyldam Parramatta Eels Head Coach Brad Arthur has described his side's Round 23 loss to the Sydney Roosters as a gutsy effort, undone by errors in the face of a more polished opposition.
"Look we’re disappointed," Arthur said of Parramatta’s 28-18 loss.
"But I thought the effort was tremendous; we’ve got half our salary cap sitting on the sideline [and] they’re the Premiership favourites."
"I thought the boys tried their backsides off and just at the end we were probably out-classed ... the 10-5 penalty count didn’t help either."
The Eels led the Roosters 18-4 at the break but were unable to hold on to the lead in the second half.
The loss of captain Tim Mannah who left the field halfway through the first half was a loss for the Blue and Gold as they fought on the rest of the game without him.
"You got to adapt to those changes when it happens," Arthur said of Mannah’s injury.
"Timmy has been really good for us all year, I think he’s playing in his best form for his career, it’s a credit to him."
The physical encounter saw three other Eels players also faced with injuries.
"(Gower) got a head knock, Peni Terepo got a head knock, Junior – his nose is halfway across his face, so it was a physical contest," Arthur said.
"I asked our boys to come here and aim up physically and I’ve got to give them 100% for that. I thought our forward pack really aimed up."
"I’m grateful to the playing group and I’m proud of them because I think every game this year we’ve been in the contest, we’ve just got to learn to turn being in the contest into wins."
"But the efforts been great and we need to make sure we continue to front up next week and the week after and whatever we’ve got left."
While the Eels had a great first half of completions and minimal errors, the physicality of the game proved to be too much in the end.
"I think we completed our first 15 or 16 sets to start the game so we had even share of the ball and the second half we didn’t have even share of the ball," Arthur said.
"They’re physical and they run hard at you and it takes a lot of energy to keep fronting up."
"But a couple of errors out of red zone and you’re giving them quality ball in good field position, some penalties, back to back sets, it just makes it hard against a quality team."