The Parramatta Eels suffered a 30-18 defeat to the Canberra Raiders at GIO Stadium tonight (Saturday 1 April) in Round Five of the NRL Telstra Premiership.
Speaking after the clash, Blue & Gold Head Coach Brad Arthur said that the side not competing for 80 minutes hurt them in the end.
"I thought we played well for sixty minutes. There was a 20 minute period that killed us where we didn't have any ball after we clawed our way back to six all, with only 30-35 percent possession,” Arthur said.
“From there, the next set, we got a good kick away and needed to go set from set from there, but they had 4-5 sets in a row. We just lacked in that period, probably a bit of urgency to get on a couple of loose balls.”
“We are pleased that we could come out in the second half and start the way we did. I challenged the boys at half time and they responded really well,” Arthur added.
“I think we won the second half but you have to win every half and you have to be in the game for the 80 minutes and a lack of concentration and a few areas for a 15 minute period really hurt us.”
Whilst pleasing that the Eels were able to fight their way back into the clash in the second half, Arthur said it was also frustrating.
“It shows that we can compete with anyone with equal possession, but that’s the frustrating thing,” Arthur said.
“We can’t play good in patches and we have done that against Cronulla and against the Gold Coast.”
“We have to play for 80 minutes if we want to be a chance, it’s hard to win a NRL game.”
The Eels have now lost three games in a row, but Arthur said the side must continue to work hard and take away some positives from the clash.
“We have to keep working hard. I would be devastated if I had to come in here and say we rolled over and didn’t play tough, and they weren’t trying because they are trying hard,” Arthur said.
“Sometimes you try too hard to make things happen. You just have to be patient and things will come to us as you see because we scored a really good try and played some really good footy, 20 minutes into that game, because we didn’t have any football.”
“We had 1-2 back to back sets compared to their 5-6.”
“They are a good team. 4 or so weeks ago they were one of four premiership favourites.” Arthur added.