Arthur: The team we want to be
Dyldam Parramatta Eels Head Coach Brad Arthur has said the Blue and Gold are getting closer to the tough team they aim to be with each week of competition.
Arthur’s charges defeated the Rabbitohs 30-12 in a tough but scrappy encounter at ANZ Stadium on Friday night, and while the Blue and Gold’s attack may not be at its best, the Head Coach was quick to praise his side’s attitude.
“I think all our wins this year we’ve built off the back of a tough performance,” Arthur said.
“We scratched our way through to 30 points [tonight]; we’re still a fair way off probably where we want to be with our attack, but while they keep turning up with that effort and attitude in their defence we’ll give ourselves a pretty good chance.”
“We want to be a tough football team. We want to be a team that can play the full 80 minutes. We want to be a team that when we come to a game, and when our fans come to a game, they know exactly what sort of effort they’re going to get from their team.”
“We mightn’t always be at our best, but coming into a game of football with no effort or no commitment and desire and pride in the jersey just isn’t good enough for us.”
With whispers that the NRL is ready to issue its final findings on the Eels’ salary cap breaches in the coming days, Arthur said the side had already moved past any feelings of disappointment over the punishment.
“There were two games there that we did [drop our standards after the salary cap findings],” Arthur said.
“And we probably let a few things slip at training, so that’s my fault. We’ve tightened that back up again, and we’re the team that we want to be down at the training paddock and we need to transfer that to the field.”
“It’d be a little bit of a kick in the backside for a little bit [to find out the final punishment], but then we’ll go again. We’ll be alright.”
Injured halfback Kieran Foran underwent surgery two weeks ago that will see him miss the remainder of the 2016 season, but Arthur said he would continue to be part of the Blue and Gold’s regular training sessions.
“He can help with a bit of the coaching,” Arthur said.
“He might help with the kick plan or something like that. It’ll be good for the boys to have him around, and he might be able to take a few of the younger boys under his wing and give them a few words. I’m sure they get sick of listening to me all the time.”
“At the moment, we’ve just got to get his shoulder right and I don’t want to burden him with too much.”