Arthur says Eels' defence not good enough

Parramatta Eels coach Brad Arthur says his side’s defence through the middle wasn’t good enough in their 36-24 loss to the Sea Eagles at Lottoland.

Here’s what he had to say in the post-match press conference.

On the Eels’ performance

“It was a step backwards, not sure why we didn’t have any intent from the start. We got run over through the middle. Everyone could see that. But why? Why do we have that attitude? We talked about our defence that it needs to improve, all week. I think it was about 55, 60 minutes before we started to get off our line and commit to our contact. It’s just not good enough. We need to go back, have a look t it and be honest about it but we need to move on straight into next week and we can’t dwell on it. It’s not good enough and we need to try to limit doing that,” Arthur said.

 On the Eels’ defensive attitude

“Some weeks we are really good there (with attitude) and today we were really poor for a long period. The last couple of weeks I thought we have been really good through the middle defensively, but we have got to do it every week. It has got nothing to do with ability otherwise they wouldn’t be in the team. They just didn’t want to tackle early. We’ve already discussed it and they know it wasn’t good enough through the middle, so we need to do something about it,” Arthur said.

On how the team will turn things around

“I don’t want to sit here and say it’s that easy, that you have got to just defend one set but once we get put under the pump we need to find the energy and the effort to defend a set, make sure form kick off they have to kick inside their half and then get the ball back and roll our sleeves up. I thought the last couple of weeks we rolled our sleeves up, but we didn’t want to roll our sleeves up today,” Arthur said.

On playing against Tom Trbojevic

“Oh look he is a really good player, but he was playing touch footy today. We just didn’t win anything through the middle, we just gave him too much time. When you give a bloke like him too much time, he is going to make you pay,” Arthur said.

On Blake Ferguson’s injury

“He has got an infection so I doubt he will play next week. He is in hospital at the moment just trying to get on top of that but yeah, he won’t play next week,” Arthur said.