Parramatta Eels coach Brad Arthur has praised Brad Takairangi and Blake Ferguson for their important roles in the Eels 30-18 win over the Wests Tigers in Round 17 at Bankwest Stadium.
Here’s what he had to say during the post-match press conference.
On the Eels three game winning streak
“We’ve been talking about having 17 players every week that we can rely upon and to do their job. To win, that’s great but we are not going to win every game and I understand that but I was more happy tonight with our mentality and we didn’t feel we needed to pull the trigger in every tackle; we have been a bit like that in the past, but we were prepared to grind, take the shots, kick, get down there and work off the back of our defence. I don’t know what you guys thought but I thought it was a pretty good game of football, I thought they threw plenty at us and they played some really good footballs,” Arthur said.
On Brad Takairangi’s hat-trick
“The same thing, that word reliable. He is a very good player but we need to be able to rely on him to do his job all the time and you know we don’t have to go for the big play all the time. But yeah, he was very good,” Arthur said.
On Mitch Moses’ good kicking game
“Just practice, (we) just need to practice hard and obviously playing with a bit of confidence, that helps. Probably a couple of those kicks early are kicks he needs to make anyway, but the timing of them and that mentality of taking shots at goal was more pleasing than anything. He kicked a couple of pressure kicks which was good,” Arthur said.
On the Eels’ forward’s run metres
“We planned to play that way tonight and I thought the forwards did a really good job, played nice and straight and direct and you know I think that is a strength of ours so we need to use it,” Arthur said.
On Nathan Brown’s return
“I thought that was his best game tonight and he has just got some match fitness back and he just keeps the forwards nice and calm and composed and probably takes a bit of pressure off our halves as well,” Arthur said.
On Blake Ferguson backing up from Origin
“That’s what we got him here for to get those big moments right and score the tries that maybe someone else can’t. He did it for Origin the other night and he backed it up today. We will send him away for five or six days and I just want to see him next Saturday and play on Sunday and get it done for us,” Arthur said.
On Blake Ferguson’s Origin performance
“Yeah he was on a high. He is pretty proud of what he has been able to achieve to this point. His focus is around Parramatta and he was really clear with me that he wanted to play (tonight) and he wanted to repay his teammates,” Arthur said.
On whether the team has discussed NRL finals hopes
“When I know that we’re going to be reliable week in week out and when we know that we have got 17 blokes that can rely upon each other,” Arthur said.