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Parramatta Eels coach Brad Arthur has praised the Eels fight, after they fought back from 16-nil down against the Canberra Raiders, to win 22-16 in Darwin.
Here’s what Arthur had to say during his post-match press conference.
On the Eels’ start
“I know we were down 16-nil but I thought we tried really hard early, we just tried too hard individually and you know we made two or three clean line breaks and then we tried to score on the next play so we just lacked real patience. As a footy team, we have to learn that we don’t have to score off every play. We have to be able to grind and build and build and sometimes you’re not going to be at your best but you have to try to keep yourself in the game and fight our way back, which we did at 16-nil. Maybe five weeks ago we wouldn’t have been tough enough to do that,” Arthur said.
On the Raiders early field possession advantage
“Our plan was to start well with possession and field position and we did the opposite. I think we completed at 40 per cent and they were 100 per cent at one stage in the first half. We still have a long way to go. One scrappy win like that is not going to get me too excited, we need to see that more often,” Arthur said.
“60 per cent completion (of sets) is not good enough in these conditions. We can’t complete last game at 90 per cent and then complete (60 per cent). I don’t think it was too much the fundamentals, it was more around our mentality of thinking we have to score every time we touch the ball. We can’t have that,” Arthur said.
On the Eels’ ladder position
“Every win is important, you know it’s important for the ladder, but it’s probably more important for us as a team that we make sure we have blokes we can reply on every week and that was our challenge for tonight. Blokes at least showed up with the right effort and mentality and all 17 players did that tonight,” Arthur said.
On Dylan Brown’s return
“It was always going to be hard for him in the conditions but he did a reasonable job. He is only going to get better each week and the expectations weren’t too high for him. He will be better next week. He gets a week off after his first game, so he will be fine,” Arthur said.
On Eels coaches sitting outside on balcony behind goals
“Over the last few years it wasn’t too great watching form where the coaches box was so the second half last year we had a look from behind,” Arthur said.
Bye week next round
“We have played fifteen weeks straight, we had quite a few playing rep round last week and I challenged them about backing up and they did a really good job for us. Junior (Paulo) was outstanding tonight on the back of a man of the match performance last week for his country so we will give them a bit of time off and get ready to go again next week,” Arthur said.