I knew Eels would bounce back: Arthur
Chris Kennedy, National Correspondent NRL.com Sat, Apr 12, 2014 - 9:10 PM
Parramatta coach Brad Arthur says the pain on his players' faces after their embarrassing 56-4 loss to the Roosters in Round 2 showed him the side would be determined to bounce back.
Speaking after his side evened the scorecard somewhat with a gritty 14-12 win at Pirtek Stadium against the same opposition as just four weeks on, Arthur said he hadn't been worried about where the side was headed after that loss.
"There was disappointment; I looked around and the boys weren't happy with it, it really hurt them. I saw that and I knew we'd bounce back from it," he said.
One of the most eye-catching aspects of the low-scoring win was the Eels' desperate goal-line defence, which has often let the side down in recent years. Yet Arthur said it was the 94 per cent completion rate he was most impressed with.
"The fact that we only made two errors all game, we were 16 from 17 in the first half and 18 from 19 in the second half [was most pleasing]," he said.
"The only error we made in the second half was we probably bombed a try under the posts [when forward Peni Terepo fumbled a Jarryd Hayne pass with the line open]."
Arthur insisted the side could still play a lot better.
"Our spirit and the fact that we kept just hanging in there and defended our try-line with a bit of composure was great," he said.
"Our halves were good again tonight but I still think there's a heap of room for improvement in them. The conditions probably didn't suit our halves tonight."
Eels captain Tim Mannah praised the side's attitude in defence but said the middle forwards had been disappointing in the opening 40 minutes.
"Brad had a good chat with us about turning up in that second half. They really dug deep and I was proud of them," he said.
"The pleasing thing about the last few weeks is coming to game day and everyone knows we're going to compete and turn up and I think that's probably been lacking over the years. But that's a really good quality to have in a team, knowing you can rock up to a game and everyone's going to have a crack."
A 78th-minute try saver from Hayne on Roosters and New Zealand back rower Sonny Bill Williams, who seemed certain to score until the Eels fullback stopped his momentum and managed to get his hands under the ball, epitomised the effort, but Mannah said he wasn't surprised.
"I think Jarryd's done that a few times and you never know what's going to happen when they get through you, he's saved heaps of tries and he saved our butt again today," he said.
Of the side's encouraging form, Mannah added: "We just want to make sure we don't get too far ahead of ourselves - it's Round 6, even though it feels great and we do have a great environment at the moment in the club we just want to keep getting better and performing every week and if we do that you never know what can happen."