Dyldam Parramatta Eels Head Coach Brad Arthur has pointed to the Blue and Gold’s tenacity in the second half as the key moment in turning around their fortunes in their Round 12 clash with the Newcastle Knights.
The Eels bounced back from a 18-10 deficit, scoring 10 unanswered points to secure the two-point win.
“It’s nice to go into the bye off the back of a win,” Arthur said.
“I’m very proud of the boys: we had quite a few busted and we were down on troops and we toughed it out in the end.”
“[There were] a couple of sets there at the end of the game where we didn’t complete and turned the ball over cheaply, but we kept turning up. The start of the second half, our discipline was a bit of a problem for us and they had about 10 or 11 sets to our 3 or 4, and to keep turning them away there was probably the turning point of the game.”
“I think its important that we give Newcastle a bit of a wrap,” Arthur added.
“They aimed up, they come at us, they played with plenty of energy and enthusiasm, they had a crack. I think they can be proud of themselves.”
The Blue and Gold posted a gutsy 20-18 win over the Knights at Hunter Stadium, that saw halfback Kieran Foran leave the field favouring his shoulder, while centre Brad Takairangi was forced to the sheds with a hamstring complaint.
“It’s too early to say [how Kieran’s shoulder is],” Arthur said.
“We knew going in his shoulder wasn’t great, and I’ve been told there’s no structural damage but we’ll have to wait and see.”
The Monday night win also saw Under 20s fullback Bevan French make his NRL debut on the wing, scoring a four-pointer in the second half, and holding up the football to deny Nathan Ross a try in the dying seconds and clinch the Eels’ win.
“He saved us the game at the end, didn’t he?” Arthur said.
“He’s done pretty well. We’ve always known some blokes are just footballers, and Bevan’s one of them. He’s still got a lot to learn and it’ll take some time, but he’s done well for us.”