POST MATCH | Brad Arthur
Parramatta Eels Head Coach Brad Arthur and co-captain Tim Mannah give their thoughts to the media in the post match press conference after the Eels go down 18-16 to the Melbourne Storm at AAMI Park in tonight's Qualifying Final.
Watch the press conference in the video above.
"It was a good, tough physicaly contenst. Momentum changed a few times with both teams. I am extremely proud of my boys for the way they fought back, but we just didnt have any ball possession and field position in that second half," Arthur said of the clash.
"The first opportunity we got down there we scored but you can't give Melbourne set starts, i think they had 5-6 set start penalties in the second half that doesn't help."
"It's a missed opportunity but the boys showed plenty of want, plenty of desire and we showed that we are good enough. Nobody gave us a chance but we showed that we are good enough."
Arthur was particularly critical of the NRL Bunker and it's inconsistent use throughout the game.
"What was the difference? The bunker." Arthur said.
"If we have the bunker there we have to go to the bunker to have a look at the tries. Our first try went straight to the bunker. The first one, the second one.."
"I think they need to have a look at it, at least to make sure," Arthur said of the try that was awarded to Storm's Kenny Bromwich after going through the hands of ten players.
"Why didn't we look at the first try? Why aren't we looking at that."
"I haven't really worried about to too much [throughout the season] and I dont need to worry about it now. We just have to get on with what we need to do and there is plenty of things we need to improve, particulary our discipline, to give ourselves a chance." Arthur added.
Eels co-captain Tim Mannah echoed Arthur's sentiments, however quickly turned his attention to next week's challenge.
"We were pretty confident at half time, we knew Melbourne obviously weren't going to go away." Mannah said.
"i thought the boys showed a lot of courage to hang in the way they did but we are focusing now again next week. We learnt some lessons from this game but it is on again for us next week."
"You are always disappointed when you don't win but we have another game to prepare for next week so we will lessons but we have to prepare for next week."
"If you look at the whole year, teams do get momentum and it is a challenge to win it back but we are trying really hard to wrestle it back and we have been good at that lately, and I thought today there were times where we did win it back but they defintely had a bit of flow for a couple minutes after that [Kenny Bromwich] try," Mannah added.
Mannah said that despite the loss, with many critics labelling this clash 'mission impossible' earlier in the week, that there was still plenty of belief in the side.
"I said it earlier in the week that we are not surprised to be in the postiion we are in," Mannah said.
"We have a lot of belief in our squad and our coaching staff so the goal doesn't change for us. We are still striving for that big goal and we will just prepare for this game now."
The Eels will clash with the winner of the Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks v North Queensland Cowboys Qualifying Final in next week's elimination Semi Finals.