Parramatta Eels Head Coach Brad Arthur spoke after his side’s 20-2 loss to the Penrith Panthers.
Here’s what he had to say about the game.
Does the score reflect the defensive effort?
“We talked about that but it is what it is. There is nothing fair in our game, you have to work hard for it and I thought our effort was outstanding. We wanted to focus on our effort but I think we just had to make too many tackles and we had six play the balls attacking their try line and they had fifty but they earnt the right to play there,” Arthur said.
Did Arthur think the defensive line would crumble earlier?
“No because I could see our effort was there and scramble was good. We couldn’t just keep defending back-to-back sets. At some point we were going to pay the price. There was a try a minute before half time and a minute before fulltime and the try off the kick just comes down to weight of possession,” Arthur said.
Do you take confidence out of the game?
“That’s the effort required to play NRL every week and so we will take confidence out of our defence but you’re certainly not going to win games of football if you give them possession on our try line like we did,” Arthur said.
Thoughts about possibly playing the Panthers in week one of finals
“We just have to worry about next week and the Broncos. What happens in the finals three weeks from now is the farthest thing from my mind, but like I said the effort was really good defensively and we turned them away on several occasions but the try just before halftime didn’t help us,” Arthur said.
Thoughts about Eels not being able to score a try
“We didn’t put ourselves in a position to score. I was probably a bit disappointed after we defended for 20 minutes, we turned them away from our try line and we got down there and got a set start and we got a plat wrong and dropped the ball on tackle three, where as they got a set, they got a repeat set and then got another set and when tackles add up to 10, 12, 18 tackles in a row, something is going to give,” Arthur said.
Were you expecting the right edge defence to be targeted?
“Yeah we knew that was coming but I thought they did a really good job,” Arthur said.
Thoughts on Ray Stone’s performance
“Yeah I thought he was good and then we had Will (Smith) who hasn’t played since Round One in Canterbury Cup so he came on a did a good job for us and got better as the game went on. I was proud of what Will did on the back of no footy and just training and training and he played the whole second half,” Arthur said.