Dyldam Parramatta Eels Head Coach Brad Arthur has summed up his team’s golden point loss to the Canberra Raiders as epitomic of the Blue and Gold’s 2015 season.
“That game there typifies our season for mine,” Arthur said.
“Too many lost opportunities.”
“Every single game this year we’ve been in, and the boys have tried really hard and played with some pride and passion and a bit of spirit in their performances, but it’s not good enough anymore.”
“That game there was ours. We were the better team, we needed to win that game of football.”
The score was locked up at 6-6 heading into half time, before the second half turned into an arm wrestle. The Eels took the lead in the 73rd minute before a last minute try to Edrick Lee and conversion from Jarrod Croker saw the game head to extra time and ultimately swung the momentum.
“Look the last try with 10 seconds to go [changed the momentum],” Arthur said.
“We’ve got to make that tackle and we’ve got to put them into touch, they shouldn’t score.”
The decision from the short kick off which gave the Raiders possession in the opening minutes of extra time also rankled Arthur.
“They shouldn’t have been there anyway, that should’ve been our ball,” Arthur said.
“With a minute to go, they kick off and they touch the ball and there’s no knock on there, that’s a wrong decision. Ryan Morgan dived on the ball, there’s no knock on.”
Although the loss was shattering for the Blue and Gold, winger Semi Radradra shone in attack, scoring a double to break Steve Ella’s 1982 record for most tries in a season for a Parramatta player.
“Look there’s plenty of positives coming out of this year for us, the emergence of some of the kids the experienced they’ve gained,” Arthur said.
After a difficult year, Arthur believes his young Eels squad has learnt some hard, but valuable, lessons.
“We lose our marquee player, one of our best players, and one of the best players in the game at the start of the year,” Arthur said.
“Everyone said we couldn’t win without him, well we’ve learnt how to win without him.”
“The kids have gained valuable experiences. We’ve had a few injuries, but they’re not excuses, and we’ve shown that we’ve put ourselves in position to win those so now we’ve just got to learn what it takes to win a game of football.”
“We’re just not quite there yet.”
“Next year there’s no excuses anymore, trying hard just doesn’t cut it, we’ve got to win.”