Parramatta Eels Head Coach Brad Arthur has said his side missed a number of opportunities after the Blue & Gold suffered their fifth straight defeat of the season, falling to the Penrith Panthers 12-6 on Sunday afternoon.
An improved defensive display from the Blue and Gold which saw them concede just the one try was not enough for them to secure their first win of the season but Arthur said the attitude from his side was a big improvement.
“The attitude was good this week. Commitment was great. It's a bit annoying it hasn't been there for four weeks." Arthur said.
"But we need to take that and move forward with that and make sure that we can't have any less than that if we want to dig ourselves out of this hole."
The Eels were guilty of being unable to cash in on possession and field position throughout the game with Arthur saying that if his side managed to take advantage of one of those opportunities the result could’ve been different.
“We probably bombed two or three opportunities… they’ll stick as long as we keep staying in the fight. If we don’t stay in the fight, those opportunities won’t come.”
“There were a couple of opportunities there that we needed to take, even in the first half. We dropped the ball with the try-line wide open. If you score one of them, it could be the momentum or the energy that you need,” he said.
“When you're confident and you put those plays on they stick and when things are going for you, they stick but we've got to stay in the fight and it'll turn but it's become pretty desperate now.”
Co-captain Beau Scott echoed his coach’s sentiments, saying the ball just didn’t bounce their way.
“Like Brad said, our attitude was there tonight and a couple of bounces of the ball and it could’ve been a different result,” said Scott.
Arthur said he could understand his players being nervous about trying to spread the ball and offload, with the Eels unable to threaten the scoreboard in the first half.
“I think when you’re in times like this, you’re a bit nervous. At the start of the game, do we make the pass, don't we? Do we offload the footy, don't we? We've got to relax probably, a little bit and make those plays and back ourselves a touch more." Arthur said.
“It's easier said than done when you're chasing victory and the last thing you want to do is turn the ball over so I can understand where the players are at but we've got to chase it a bit more and back ourselves a bit more.”