Parramatta Eels Head Coach Brad Arthur has expressed the importance of backing up last week’s victory over the Sea Eagles with another strong performance against the St. George Illawarra Dragons this week.
Reflecting on the Blue & Gold performance, Arthur said the side did what they were asked of, but there were still plenty of improvements to make.
“In terms of what we asked the boys to do, they did. We managed the game well, with high completions, our kicking game was very good and defensively we were okay. It was a pass mark for us defensively,” Arthur said.
“A bit of our attack, the execution was off, but it is Round One and we didn’t have a lot of trial form.”
“Our halves were good, they are a developing combination and not an ageing spine.” Arthur added.
“Kaysa first full 80 minute hit up in the 9, and Bevvy out the back there. They are going to take a bit of time but they are very aware of what’s required from them.”
And whilst coming away with the two points in Round One is important, Arthur said the next few weeks were more important.
“Wins are good for morale and good for confidence,” Arthur said.
“Every club works just as hard as each other throughout the pre-season and unfortunately there is a loser out of every game, but it is nice to get a win in Round One but it’s what you do in those next couple of rounds that is probably more important.”
And with the Eels coming up against the Dragons, who came away 42-10 victors over the Penrith Panthers in Round One, Arthur expects the big clash in the middle of the field to go a long way in determining the result.
“They played really tough. Obviously their strengths are their size in their forward pack. They carry the ball very aggressive, they were nice and direct and they played through the middle,” Arthur said.
“Pretty simple game but very effective.”
“The battle through the middle is important for both teams. We are happy with the outside back and our halves, but if our forwards don’t give them anything to play off, they’ll be taken out of the game.”
The Eels kick off against the Dragons at WIN Stadium on Sunday 12 March, kick off at 6:30pm.