The Parramatta Eels have come away with a thrilling 13-12 golden point victory over the Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs at ANZ Stadium in Round 17 of the NRL Telstra Premiership, and speaking after the game, Blue & Gold Head Coach Brad Arthur was less than pleased with how his side let the Bulldogs back into the contest.
The Eels had a 12-2 lead after the opening forty minute stanza, before the Bulldogs clawed their way back into the contest.
“We invited them back into the contest, but if you are a Bulldogs player you probably thought you earnt the right to get back in the contest, and they did,” Arthur said.
“We just couldn’t get out of our half. Our very first set from the kick off in the second half wasn’t good enough. They rolled 70m and it was no excuse for that to happen.”
“Maybe I need to rip into the boys a little bit more just before they go out after half time. They (the Bulldogs) just had some big bodies out there, carried hard and aggressive and their season was on the line and their want and desire was there. They carried hard, we didn’t get our bodies in front and they rolled us.”
The game was sealed with a golden point match-winning field goal from halfback Mitch Moses and Arthur had nothing but praise for the newest recruit.
Moses linked well with Kenny Edwards and Michael Jennings, absorbing all the Bulldogs attack as he made 20 tackles, with just two misses, to go alongside his three tackle busts, two line break assists, 75 un metres and 375 kick metres.
“Its nice for Mitch to do that, it was a big moment and he nailed it.” Arthur said.
“He was nice and calm going into golden point and spoke really well to the players.”
“I wouldn’t say he has had a rough start, he has had four wins from six games, and I don’t know when the last time he did that.” Arthur continued, rejecting talks that Moses had a rough start in the Blue & Gold.
“He has had to fit in to a new style of football, new defensive systems. How many coaches he has had in the past. He has had to adapt and he has adapted really well and defensively he has worked really hard. Tonight I thought he really aimed up defensively, he was good. “
“Having Jenko there helps him but he got his body in front, made his tackles and he was committed. But he needs to do that for us every week.”
Blue & Gold captain Tim Mannah echoed those statements.
“I think it was a bit of relief for him, he seemed really happy with it,” Mannah said on Moses kicking the winning field goal.
“I thought defensively he was really strong today. He has been pretty solid for us since he has been here but it was good to see him have that special moment tonight.”
“He has fit into the Club really quickly. He is obviously a very likeable guy, the boys get along with him really well and he is doing a really good job for us on the field.” He added.
Arthur quelled the talks of the Eels making the Finals, something has not occurred since 2009, but rather focus on the improvements the side was still required to make.
“Every win is important for us but it’s probably more important for us that we backed up last week’s performance defensively,” Arthur said.
“A couple of areas tonight in defence that we have to get right but I thought the last two weeks our defence has been nice and strong and nice and committed.”
“There is pressure from us. The boys have worked hard and want to play finals but we are still a long way off.” He added.
“Come September we have work to do and what is really important for us is how we travel next week to Melbourne and how we play against a team that doesn’t give you much.”