Following his side’s tough 30-8 win over the Gold Coast Titans, Parramatta Eels Coach Brad Arthur said he was impressed with the defensive attitude displayed by his team.
“It would've been nice if we displayed that defensive attitude and resolve last week too. I was really happy with the boys' effort tonight, I thought it was great.”
The Eels at one point withstood six consecutive sets defending their own line and it was an effort Arthur was proud of.
“It helps with confidence, with our systems and everyone being accountable for making their tackles on the try line. I don't think you'd be able to do too many periods where you're defending 6 or 7 sets in a row and turn teams away.
“I was really happy with the effort but still some attention to detail and a few other things that we did on the try line that we need to tidy up,” said Arthur.
With star fullback Bevan French leaving the field during the first half, Arthur said they didn’t want to push it, preferring to take him off and do their best to prepare him for next week.
“It was just tight and we can run the gauntlet and push him and leave him out there and the risk and chance of injury is greater but there was no point. I don't know where that leaves us for next week but there's not much in it. At this stage of the year we've got blokes here that can do a job.”
Replacing Bevan French was utility Will Smith, who scored two tries from fullback but still has some aspects of his game to work on.
“He (Smith) did a good job, there some things there that he can do better but he did a reasonable job.”
With that being said, Arthur and the team said they have confidence in Smith to do the job at the back.
“I'll be guided by what our medical department say and we don't want to put Bevan at risk but the thing is we need to show a bit of belief and confidence in the blokes like Will that he can get the job done.
“He did a good job tonight and we'll get some more time during the week to help him out and work on a few areas of his game but if Bevan's not right we won't be playing him.”
Captain Tim Mannah said he too was impressed by his teammates’ dedication on their own line and that the effort would prepare them for the coming weeks.
“I thought we got some practice for the next few weeks as well which is going to hold us in good stead. The boys showed a lot of determination which was probably lacking a bit last week,” said Mannah.
The prop added the team was determined to win this week in celebration of Brad Arthur’s 100th game as head coach.
“The other thing we'd been speaking about was it's the coach's 100th game which is no small feat for a coach, especially at our club. We've seen a few come and go over the years and he's been a shining light for us, for our playing group and we thought it was worth celebrating today.”
Mannah said from hereon in, every week is a big week for the team with a top four position up for grabs and a match against the in-form Brisbane Broncos next week.
“I think the lesson we learned last week, is that every week is big, every week is important. Regardless of who we're playing and where we're playing or what the occasion is we've got to make sure we turn up every week and play our best footy or else we'll make the same mistakes we did last week.”