Arthur: We weren’t prepared to grind

The Parramatta Eels suffered a 32-6 defeat to the North Queensland Cowboys at Darwin’s TIO Stadium tonight (Saturday 10 June) in Round 14 of the NRL Telstra Premiership.

Speaking after the clash, Blue & Gold Head Coach Brad Arthur said the side was not prepared to grind and go set for set for victory.

“We weren’t prepared to grind and they were prepared to grind. JT kicked us to death, controlled the game well and got them back to back sets in good field position and that was the difference,” Arthur said

“I think the way they finished their sets was better than ours. The ill discipline with early penalties giving them a leg up to good field position. We just didn’t control the game and weren’t prepared to grind it out and go set for set.” Arthur added.

“In the last ten minutes, we went set for set and stopped the flow of points.”

Watch how the clash unfolded

With the Eels taking their clash to Darwin, after a gruelling and physical clash last week, Arthur did not use it as an excuse for his players.

“It’s not an excuse [last week’s tough performance]. We had long enough to prepare and every team has to get up for a game of football,” Arthur said.

“I thought in the first half our defence was good but we didn’t give ourselves a chance with our attacking options.”

“We have played up here for the last three years and completed above 80% and controlled the game,” Arthur added.

“We knew that is what we had to do but our completions finished at 65% and theirs was above 80%. They just controlled the game a lot better than we did.”

With the Eels holding a 7-7 record at just over the halfway mark of the season, Arthur said the side’s year had been too inconsistent.

“Inconsistent and that’s why we are sitting in the middle of the road with the competition and that’s where we are. We take a couple of steps forward then a big step backwards like we did tonight.” Arthur said.

“You can throw up excuses, but we just need to get some combinations happening. We have been very disjointed with that. At the end of the day, combinations don’t matter with completion rates and finishing your sets off.”

“We just have to keep training hard, come with the right attitude and turn it around.”

“We have some work to do there, it wasn’t great. We probably played too sideways.” Arthur added when asked of Norman and Moses’ combination.

“They had two training sessions together, that didn’t help, but we will have to do some work there.”