Despite his side’s tough efforts against a New Zealand Warriors side that was held scoreless last week, Head Coach Brad Arthur’s Parramatta Eels slumped to their ninth loss of the season.
The Blue and Gold fought back from a 12-2 deficit in the first half to hit the lead, only to concede two tries in the final 15 minutes and go down 24-14.
“We just needed to stay in the game, stay in the fight. Because I thought when we had the ball, we carried it strong and we made some good metres,” said Arthur in the post match press conference.
“I think our completion rate was 60%, you don’t give yourself a chance. In the second half we completed 16/16 and we gave ourselves a chance. We’re trying really hard but we’re playing really dumb and we’re just not giving ourselves a chance in a tough competition.”
Co-captain Clint Gutherson said the side was frustrated after failing to capitalise on the big moments in the game.
“We’re killing ourselves on big moments. To win an NRL game you have to nail them and we’re not, so it’s frustrating,” said Gutherson.
Arthur said his side needed to be better when the game was on the line and nail those moments.
“We’re always looking at what we need to do better. If we take out three or four of those moments tonight, big moments, we’re probably talking about a different result. Same as last week, couple of big moments, different results,” he said.
The head coach said neither he, nor his side had given up on the season and that they’d be turning their focus to next week’s game against the Brisbane Broncos.
“We’re planning for next week against the Broncos and that needs to be our mentality.” Arthur said.
“We’re not giving up, we’re staying in the fight.”
Gutherson said the playing group remains together despite a tough season so far and that they’re disappointed they’re not getting the wins for the coaching staff.
“We’re a tight knit group and we go out there every week. We showed tonight we turned up for each other and tried to turn up every single play, that’s how you want to win.”
“Brad and the staff do so well to keep us together and fresh, ready to go and we’re letting them down at the moment. That’s the frustrating bit,” he said.
Quizzed on the form of halfback Mitchell Moses, Arthur said the number seven did some good things during the game but was quick to emphasise Moses’ priority is Parramatta, not the NSW Blues Origin jersey he’s rumoured to be considered for.
“I thought he (Moses) tried extremely hard, did a lot of good things. He needs to play well for Parramatta and if Parramatta are playing well it increases his chances (of an Origin jersey) but that’s not a priority. The priority is us winning a game of footy.”
Arthur also gave an update on the continuously growing Blue and Gold casualty ward.
“I think, maybe next week, a couple of them (might be back), if not, the following week.” Arthur said.
“Jarryd’s close, Browny is still probably two weeks away, Kane Evans is close. They (medical staff) said maybe ACL (for Beau Scott, who limped from the field).”