Arthur: We need to focus on our next game
Brad Arthur commended his players’ performance in their hard-fought win against the Brisbane Broncos on Friday night.
But the Eels coach has said his side still needs to turn in an 80-minute performance and prepare for next week’s match against the Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs.
“It was a pretty good win to come back from the first five minutes. We played well but we still haven't got 80 minutes out yet. We were good for 75 minutes I thought and in my view I thought we were the better team for 75.
“We need to worry about the Bulldogs. They're under a fair bit of criticism they're not going to give you much with their defence. We just need to focus on our next game and backing this performance up,” said Arthur.
The head coach praised fullback Bevan French for stepping into the gap left by the injured Clint Gutherson.
“When we get an injury, it's an opportunity for someone else. Bevan was first choice fullback at the start of the year and he got injured which gave "Gutho" his opportunity.”
Arthur added that Kirisome Auva’a slotted in well on the right wing given his lack of match fitness and his inexperience in the position.
“He's (Auva’a) a bit short of a run, he was blowing there for a period. He hasn't played much wing and I thought he did a really good job. We've got good depth in the squad and everyone's keen to play their role.”
Arthur said he put it to the forwards at training during the week to step up and take on their more-fancied opposition and he felt they did just that.
“I challenged the forwards in the week; we've been good, we've been holding our own. But we just needed to go to another level and I felt we did that tonight.”
Captain Tim Mannah echoed his coach’s sentiments, saying it was a whole team performance and something the squad had been working towards.
“We worked hard for each other. In weeks gone by we've been trying hard but we've all been on different pages this week we were all on the same page and working hard with each other and it made it feel a lot more effortless,” Mannah said.
The prop also said it was a good test of the team’s intensity given the quality of the Broncos.
“They’re (Brisbane) obviously a finals team so whenever you play them it's that kind of intensity which, it's a game where we're happy with the way we played but we need to focus now on the Bulldogs next Thursday night.”
Brad Arthur also provided a quick update on a trio of possibly injured players, with none appearing to be serious.
“Moses has been carrying a bump for a couple of weeks now, so I think he’s ok. “Takaz” (Brad Takairangi) is fine and I think Browny (Nathan Brown) is a concussion or just a head knock at the end there.”
The Eels take on arch-rivals the Bulldogs next Thursday night at ANZ Stadium.