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Eels captain Clint Gutherson.

Eels coach Brad Arthur isn't concerned about his side's attack despite failing to cross the line for the second time in three weeks.

Arthur praised the defensive effort in the 20-2 loss to the Panthers on Friday night, a match in which his side had to make 51 more tackles inside their own 20-metre zone than the high-flying Panthers did at the other end of the field.

The lack of territorial dominance hurt the visitors with tries conceded in the 39th and 79th minutes of the match sure signs of fatigue.

The Eels' have averaged just 10 points per game over the past month.

"We talked about that but it's what it is, isn't it?" Arthur pondered.

"There's nothing fair in our game so we've got to work hard for it and I thought our effort was outstanding.

Match Highlights: Panthers v Eels

"That's the effort that's required to play the NRL every week.

"We'll take confidence out of our defence but we're certainly not going to win games of football if you're giving possession on our try line as we did.

"They [Penrith] worked hard and earned the right to play that way. I could see the effort and scramble was really good but we couldn't keep defending back-to-back sets.

"I thought we paid the price with the try before half-time."

The top-four contest and 100th Battle of the West set the tone for a possible finals rematch in three weeks' time. Arthur wasn't in the mood to discuss a possible qualifying final in October.

Eels back-rower Shaun Lane.
Eels back-rower Shaun Lane. ©Robb Cox/NRL Photos

"We've got to worry about next week, not what will happen in three weeks' time," Arthur said.

"We didn't put ourselves in the position to score. I was a bit disappointed in the first 20 minutes, we defended our line and then got down there with a set restart.

"We got a play wrong and dropped the ball on tackle three. They got to the end of their sets and when sets go for eight, nine, 10 tackles in a row … something's going to give."

Arthur was hopeful injured hooker Reed Mahoney would be available for the Eels in next week's clash against the Broncos at Bankwest Stadium.