The Parramatta Eels have suffered a 14-4 defeat to the Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks in the annual Johnny Mannah Cup clash at ANZ Stadium tonight (Saturday 24 March).
Speaking after the clash, Blue & Gold Head Coach Brad Arthur said that whilst he was satisfied with the side’s defensive effort, there was still plenty to improve on.
“We have a lot of disappointment and dejected players. I thought defensively, if we would of turned up like that in Rounds One and Two it may have been a different result for us in those games.” Arthur said.
“We got our defence back but we just have to try and get some even share of ball or not cook ourselves with lack of possession.”
“We get the ball back and we are out on our feet.”
“We wanted to make a statement with our defence because it wasn’t good enough last week because it was soft but I thought defensively they tried very hard, our systems were good but the couple of penalties probably hurt us.” He added.
The Eels have started their season with three defeats and Arthur said it was up to the Blue & Gold to continue to work hard to fight their way out of their run.
“We just have to keep fighting hard. We have to make sure we come back next week with the same defensive resolve, and we have a long turn around, so we have some opportunity and time to work on some of our attack.” Arthur said.
“In the first half we had 36% possession and when you do get the ball, it’s that bit tougher and we were getting the ball coming off our try line a fair bit too.”
“We are a bit down on our luck but the only way we can get some luck is by working hard.” Arthur added.
“Our cohesion in attack wasn’t there. We have to go back and do some work during the week.”
“We trained all week with Jarryd at the back but Will had to go back there so that knocked us around a bit.” He continued.
Hayne left the field in the 29th minute of the clash and did not return to the action. Kane Evans also took no further part in the clash after the 24th minute and Bevan French sustained a knock during the clash.
Arthur said it was still too early to tell on the extent of their injuries.
“I think Jarryd has a hip flexor injury.” Arthur said.
“I think it was on the kick off.” He continued.
“Kane couldn’t come back on and Bevan got a bump. We have a couple of bumps and bruises but I haven’t spoken to the doctors yet.” Arthur added.
“It’s too early to say if they will be back next week, I haven’t spoken to them.”
The Eels will take on the Wests Tigers on Easter Monday, 1 April at ANZ Stadium in Round Four of the NRL Telstra Premiership.