Brad Arthur gave a frank and honest assessment of the Eels’ narrow win over the Bulldogs.
Here’s what he had to say after the match.
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On the Eels’ second half
“It was disappointing. I was happy that we hung on and found a way to get the job done, but we put ourselves under way too much pressure and made it hard on ourselves, but we kept turning up on our try line. It’s two points and the two points we needed,” Arthur said.
Were the Eels complacent in the second half?
“The scoreboard probably says so, yeah. We didn’t start the second half great. We put ourselves under pressure and gave them a bit of a sniff and gave them extra energy. I think at one point we made 150 tackles to 45,” Arthur said.
How the team reacted to the game
“It was like a morgue in the dressing sheds. They were really disappointed and I asked them if they really wanted to sing the team song, but that’s good because we’re setting high expectations and we know we can be better. I don’t want to take away any credit from the dogs because they rolled their sleeves up, threw plenty at us and had a crack,” Arthur said.
Did they Eels sing the team song?
“Yeah they did. We need to. We can be disappointed but we still need to enjoy it,” Arthur said.
On Junior Paulo and Reagan Campbell-Gillard’s performances
“Junior and Reg, I don’t know where we would be without them at the moment. They have been outstanding. I don’t like putting too much pressure on guys and rapping them up too much but I think I’ve been playing it safe and probably not giving them enough credit but they’re the reason why we have won nine out of ten games or whatever it is,” Arthur said.
“I’m not prepared to swap them for anyone else. I’ve always liked Reg as a player when we had to play against them and Junz is one of my favourites. I love how he plays. He plays tough and you can really challenge him. The expectations for those two are high on themselves, but they’ve done a lot of hard work in the pre-season and formed a bit of a partnership and they’re happy with it,” Arthur said.
What will it take for the Eels to get back to top form?
“We have to be prepared to play for 80 minutes; we still haven’t got there yet. We’ve still got seven or eight games to work on that. I touched on it when we played the Roosters, about us being a more professional team and at 18-nil, we weren’t professional enough today,” Arthur said.