The Dyldam Parramatta Eels earned a hard-fought 20-16 victory over the Manly Warringah Sea Eagles at Brookvale Oval last night (Sunday 23 August) to beat them for a second time this season.
With the Sea Eagles playing for their season, Eels Head Coach Brad Arthur says his Blue and Gold side played tough to close out the game, however there were still plenty of improvements to make.
“I thought we played really tough and hung on. I thought we played tough last week too,” Arthur said.
“We played tough but the second half was tough to watch. We just have to get a little bit better at managing games, we seem to want to self destruct.”
“We did that [self destruct] for periods and incomplete four or five sets in a row there in the second half but we finally got back in the groove and kicked long and tried to build some pressure down the other end of the field,” Arthur added.
With the Sea Eagles raiding the Eels try line for the majority of the second half, Arthur was proud of his sides defensive efforts.
“The boys kept turning up for each other tonight in defence and they had a fair bit of ball attacking our try line, and they are a good attacking team,” Arthur said.
“I was really proud of the boys, but it is disappointing that we can put in that performance. The effort has been there all year, it’s just the execution but we will get better at that.” He added.
Playing in testing wet conditions, Arthur said whilst he was confident in the team that would turn up, his men still had to be prepared to grind out a full 80 minutes, something that has not been consistent in 2015.
“It’s tough to come here and win but I knew coming to the game the boys were ready to go and willing to work hard,” Arthur said.
“It was just whether we could hang in there and try and grind the game out for a full 80 minutes, and we did that but we just have to be smarter.”
“Everything was going against us in the second half, but like I said, we just have to manage the game better.”
With two rounds remaining in the season, Arthur was hoping that the close losses of 2015 would burn inside his team and drive them to get better.
“I am proud of them, and it’s something that needs to burn in us a little bit in the preseason that we played some really good footy, played with energy and toughed it out in some really tough times but we have to get better,” Arthur said.
“In seven occasions we have been in front at half time and we self destructed.”
However whilst Arthur labelled the season as ‘disappointing’, the Head Coach could not fault his sides efforts throughout the year.
“Next year is still a while away, it has been disappointing, but the effort has been outstanding,” Arthur said.
“I feel like we are squeezing everything we can out of them, and they are giving everything they can.”
“Sometimes the execution might not be there, but in terms of effort, I can sleep a easier at night time knowing they are trying very hard.”