Arthur: Our start will be important
The Parramatta Eels take on the New Zealand Warriors at ANZ Stadium on Friday 2 June in Round 13 of the NRL Telstra Premiership.
Speaking ahead of the clash, Blue & Gold Head Coach Brad Arthur says his line up will have to learn from the Eels defeat to the opposition in Round Six of this season, whilst stressing the importance of a strong start.
“Our start to the second half was good, we fought back but we didn’t persist for long enough. We had a few unlucky calls go against us in the second half and we probably let that affect us.,” Arthur said of their last clash.
“It’s important for us, about our start. When we start well, it increases our chance of getting the right result. We need to start well because it also gives us that level of confidence.”
The Eels are coming off a 22-16 victory over the South Sydney Rabbitohs last week, and Arthur says that halfback Mitch Moses and the Eels will only continue to improve as he spends more time with the team and the team understands his game better.
“Mitch was better last Friday night, and hoping he will be better again this week. His first half was really good, and he copped a bump in the second half which affected his involvement, but it will be nice to get a full 80 minutes out of him,” Arthur said.
“It is still going to take time, but there will be natural progression on improvement in our team with him in the team and our players getting used to how he plays.” Arthur added.
“Time is not always on your side, and every team needs to tick over some wins to stay in touch with the Top Eight.”
There has been plenty of reports around the Eels long-standing hoo-doo in the No. 7 jersey, and with Moses now in the jersey, Arthur quickly shot down any talks of the curse.
“The curse? It’s a number on a jersey really. I think we are looking into way too much. He just has to go out there and be Mitchell Moses,” Arthur said.
“Players are pretty thick skinned it doesn’t really worry or concern them. At the end of the day, it is a number on the jersey and Mitch seems pretty composed in the way he plays so I am sure that isn’t in the back of his mind.”
The Eels will welcome former Blue & Gold half Kieran Foran to ANZ Stadium for the first time since his departure from the Club, and Arthur knows the Warriors half poses plenty of dangers.
“It’s the same as every week, every team has their strengths and he is one of their strengths,” Arthur said.
“He played really well last time we played them, and was probably the difference in the game so we need to make sure we are good with our defence on that right hand side of the field.”
And the Head Coach is hoping the Blue & Gold Army Members and fans turn out to cheer on the team.
“We just expect our fans to get there and support us,” Arthur said.
“Kieran plays for another Club now so we just want them to get behind our players.”
The Eels take on the New Zealand Warriors at ANZ Stadium tomorrow night. Click through to purchase your tickets and be there to cheer on the Blue & Gold.