Eels coach Brad Arthur spoke following his side’s win over the Wests Tigers, saying he was proud of their effort, but they need to improve for the Storm in week one of finals.
Here’s what he said following the game.
Thoughts on the performance
“Probably didn’t need the first 20 minutes of the second half, but I was really happy we remained calm and patient and we knew we still had plenty of time, we just needed to get the ball back and once we got the ball back we executed all right with the footy. I think there was seven minutes to go and we opted not to take the shot at goal and I wanted to put them under a bit of pressure and see how we handled it and can we show some patience at the try line and try to execute a play to try to ice the game. I think it was a tough kick anyway (the penalty), five metres in from touch,” Brad Arthur said.
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Thoughts on lack of possession to start the second set
“I think they had twelve sets to two to start the second half. You can’t do it. You just need to defend one set. It’s as simple as defend a set, get the ball back and that stops the momentum,” Arthur said.
Will Smith’s performance
“He was pretty good. He came with a nice try for us at the end of the game and I thought he had some nice touches, a couple of nice kicks and so yeah he did alright,” Arthur said.
Dylan Brown’s return
“Yeah I’m not sure what’s happening with Dyl. Next week or the following week. He’s close,” Arthur said.
Will Smith and Mitch Moses’ combination
“I thought some of our kick finishes needed to be better but overall I thought our attack was pretty good,” Arthur said.
Playing Melbourne Storm in Queensland next week
“It’s going to be a tough game of footy isn’t it? They’re one of the better teams in the competition and they have been for a long long time. We certainly can’t have a patch of footy like we did tonight, 15 or 20 minutes, but I think we also need to give the Tigers a bit of credit they threw some good footy at us and they were brave. It was a test for us because they threw the ball from side to side and played some good footy,” Arthur said.
What BA said to the boys after the game
“We are playing a final and we are coming third. I’ve got to get them up and ready. We should be excited. It’s hard to win football games. We have won 15 out of 20 games; 75 per cent of our games so I’m proud of them and tonight they showed a bit of resilience at the end and we’re going to have to show plenty next week but we’ll worry about that tomorrow,” Arthur said.
Gutherson’s try saving tackle
“They’re the big moments you’ve got to get right, don’t you? He got it right and Will got his right when the game was there to be won,” Arthur said.