The Parramatta Eels have come away with a 22-16 victory over the South Sydney Rabbitohs at ANZ Stadium tonight.
Whilst pleased to come away with the two points, Blue & Gold Head Coach Brad Arthur was not pleased with how the way the side ended the clash.
There were also a few ‘questionable decisions’ that saw the score come to within a converted try.
“It was disappointing [closer than it should have been] and a couple of questionable decisions I think. I still thought our second half, we dipped our toe in it to see what sort of response we were going to get from them and then we aimed up a bit,” Arthur said.
“But I am not real happy with the ending.”
“The try at the end, he shouldn’t of been in position to score that try because we had the ball and we dropped it on tackle one with two minutes to go, so we have to be better and tougher there.”
“I will have to have a look at the forward passes because I thought the one which could of kicked us out to 28 was good,” Arthur added.
“I saw it on the screen [the second Johnston try] and to me, it didn’t look like a try.”
Arthur was pleased with halfback Mitchell Moses’ second game in the Blue & Gold, noting that the half will only continue to improve.
But the rest of the team also has to adjust to their new recruit.
“We don’t have time, but he [Mitch Moses] is going to need some time to get better but as long as we see improvements in him week to week, session to session, and we are seeing that,” Arthur said.
“It is not only him but our boys getting used to what his strengths are and how he likes to play. The timing he plays very fast into the line so we have to get a touch quicker and flatter on him so just a few details.”
“I thought his kicking game was good, a big improvement from last week. Although his long kicking game last week was excellent” he added.
Arthur also had praise for halves partner Clint Gutherson, who has been particularly critical of his performances over the last few weeks.
“Gutho is a footballer and we know exactly what we are going to get from him every week. He is such a competitor, has been a little bit unhappy with how he has played the last week or so,” Arthur said.
“He is a runner of the football, he went to fullback and he was really good there and we moved him to five-eight and it’s a different game, and he probably tried too much to play the role of a five-eight instead of just playing his game."
“I will worry about that [where to move him] when Normy comes back.” He added.
However for now, Arthur knows the side must improve in their second half performance, and play a complete 80 minutes if they want to be there at the end of the year.
“The first half was really good. We are yet to match it but in the second half. For periods we were really good in the second half, but if we want to try and be there at the end of the year, we have to be a lot better than that in the second half,” Arthur said.
Eels co-captain Tim Mannah also echoed the Head Coach’s sentiments.
“I think it was two completely different halves. The first half we started well and played the style of football we wanted to play and I thought the second half was the complete opposite,” Mannah said.
“We dipped our toe a bit, and we let ourselves down a bit in that second half. There is definitely a lot we need to work on but we will take the two points and improve next week.”