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Parramatta Eels coach Brad Arthur spoke of his pride in his team, following their 58-0 win over the Brisbane Broncos; the biggest win in NRL finals history.
Here’s what he said in his post-match press conference.
On the Eels’ 80 minute performance
“We talked about it all week. We talked around the 80 minutes, there were going to be some good bits, there was going to be some great bits and there was going to be some bad periods in the game and it’s just about how we handled them. We got close to 80 minutes, just that period after halftime we gave away a couple of penalties and we got a bit loose with our contact but I didn’t think we were going to play that well. I knew we were going to come and have a red hot crack. Some days it just goes to plan and it did today. I’m proud of the boys. We need to enjoy it, but we have a tough game on Saturday,” Arthur said.
On the reliability of the players
“Well I have 36 (players) at the moment. The boys playing at Wenty (reserve grade), it’s a tough situation for them. Playing reserve grade, everyone wants to play first grade and they’re doing a really good job and they have been a big part of today’s performance. Our staff have done a really good job giving me everyone available for selection. We missed out on a couple of blokes through suspension the last couple of weeks, but outside of that every single player is fit and healthy,” Arthur said.
On how the Eels can beat Melbourne
“Our start when we go to Melbourne. We went there a couple of years ago in 2017 and we didn’t start that well in the first ten or fifteen minutes and they jumped us. We came back and put ourselves in the contest but our start is going to be really important and from there, it’s going to be a matter of hanging on and trying to dig in for the full 80 minutes,” Arthur said.
On tonight’s performance
“We just need to move on and onto next week. They know what’s around the corner. We are playing the best team in the competition at their home ground, but we are going to go there and give it everything we can,” Arthur said.
On how the team has changed since being thrashed by the Storm in Round 9
“We are a different team. It was embarrassing (the loss), we let a lot of people down. Probably mostly ourselves. They still remember; you don’t forget performances like that. It was an embarrassing performance. I think over the last, I think it was Round 11, 12 or 13 we had a discussion around what sort of team we wanted to be and we wanted to be more reliable and I think we have done that,” Arthur said.
On the discussions Arthur had with Moses in the pre-season
“Oh it was just a performance review. There were a few truths in the review said both ways. Our performance just wasn’t good enough as a club (last season), not just Mitchell, me as a coach a lot. So, it was just an honest conversation about what he needed to do to get it right. He has worked really hard, but I think his teammates have helped. Everyone is playing their role and doing their job, which allows him to have control over the team. Everyone is happy to let him steer them around and everyone is happy to listen to him and put trust in him that he is going to follow the plan and stick to it,” Arthur said.
On Moses’ kicking game
“It starts right back in November. He does two or three sessions a week. He continues to do plenty of work before training, on time off, after training; so he has put a lot of time and effort into it but I think the forwards carrying the ball the way they do, is allowing him to kick on the front foot, which helps,” Arthur said.
On how Arthur feels about the win
“I was just proud. We have a group that’s worked hard. We still have a long way to go. Everyone talks about the atmosphere down on the sidelines so I went down for the last five minutes and it was a nice occasion for all the staff to go down there and feel the support that we had from our fans. I’m really proud and happy, but I’m also aware we have done a lot of work to now and we have a lot more work to do and it starts straight away,” Arthur said.