Dyldam Parramatta Eels Head Coach Brad Arthur has called on his side to maintain its commitment through the closing rounds of the 2016 season following a 22-8 defeat by the Wests Tigers on Saturday.
Arthur admitted that the club’s injury toll and the impact of player retirement and releases had left the Blue and Gold with just one of its top ten earners, Club Captain Tim Mannah, available for the Round 21 clash.
“We want to finish the year strong,” Arthur said.
“We want to make sure we don’t get into some bad habits; we want to make sure that we’ve got our standards and expectations around effort and what’s required from each other and our teammates, and we want to make sure we do that for the next five weeks.”
“It was courageous, the effort’s there,” Arthur said of the Round 21 loss.
“We’ve got a few injuries and whatever the circumstances are, but still we’re putting 17 blokes out there who are capable and we need to do better.”
“We haven’t given up, that’s for sure. We’re still playing tough, we’re still being resilient, but we just lacked little bit of finesse and polish at times.”
And while the Eels can expect second-rower Manu Ma’u to return from suspension and Beau Scott and Michael Jennings back from injury for Friday night’s Women in League Round match up with the Sea Eagles, Arthur was able to see the unexpected benefits in Parramatta’s frequently reshuffled line-up.
“What it does is it gives other players an opportunity,” Arthur said.
“They just need to make sure they step and take it. It’s forced our hand to do some things we probably wouldn’t have done if the situation was different, so it gives them some experience.”
“Gutho (Clint Gutherson)’s had to play a few different roles and his effort’s been first class for us. He’s a real competitor and footballer.”
“Bev (Bevan French) is learning the rigours of being bashed about a bit week in, week out, and he’s going to be better for it next year. He’s got another pre-season where he can get a bit stronger, do some more work physically with the boys, and he’ll be better for it next year.”