Arthur: I thought we were the better team

The Parramatta Eels suffered a heartbreaking 20-18 defeat last night to the St. George Illawarra Dragons at WIN Stadium.

Leading 18-8 with under ten minutes to go, the home side managed to score two late tries to secure a two point victory over the Blue & Gold. 

Blue & Gold Head Coach Brad Arthur says despite the Eels being the better team for the majority of the game, they found a way to lose.

“It was outstanding from the boys tonight, I thought we were the better team but it is probably why we are sitting last at the moment because we managed to lose that game,” Arthur said.

“Those games last year, we found ways to win them and we held our nerve in those periods and won a lot of tight games, but this year, we have lost a lot of those and we are not holding our nerve in those periods.”

Arthur said some players were over playing their hand and that was costing the team in close matches.

“I just think at times we are all trying to solve it on our own instead of working together,” Arthur said.

“When we worked together tonight for 72 minutes we looked really good. We are last and they’re first but I thought we were the better team.”

“I thought we were good last week against Souths in the first half but it is always different individuals who try to do things on their own and it is really putting us under the pump.” 

Moving forward, Arthur said the players had to continue to turn up with the effort and intensity shown for the majority of last nights’s clash.

 “We have got eight games to go, we need to make sure we play with plenty of pride, and that effort and intensity I saw them play with tonight, that needs to happen all the time,” Arthur said.

“That is a must, that is non-negotiable and we have spoken about it. If we don’t do that, if we don’t play with that effort we saw tonight and that attitude, we don’t give ourselves a chance.” 

Captain Tim Mannah, who set up Parramatta’s first try for winger Bevan French, said the team could take confidence for the way they played against the Dragons.

“It’s pretty deflating. For 70-75 minutes ,we felt like we were in control of the game. It would have been awesome if we could have won that game and used that confidence heading into the next few weeks,” Mannah said.

“To lose it in the death, it was pretty deflating but there’s some good signs we can use to build our confidence for the next game."