Arthur: Wasn't pretty but it'll do
Happy Parramatta coach Brad Arthur has conceded that while the Eels played ugly, their 32-12 victory over the Cronulla Sharks was acceptable.
Arthur said while the performance was a "bit all over the shop" he was pleased with the result, adding the Eels would not have been capable of winning games in any sort of matter previously.
"The Sharks sort of came back there and managed to get within striking range but I suppose the positive is that while we looked a little bit flat we still found a way to dig ourselves out of it," Arthur said post-game.
"It wasn't pretty and we know we have to be heaps better but it's probably a good thing that we can still get a win when we're not at our best, and that's something we haven't done in the past."
The Eels shot out to a 10-nil lead after 10 minutes but slackened off, allowing the Sharks back into the contest. While Arthur said a hard week at training may have been the cause it didn't stop him from letting loose at his troops come halftime.
"I started [my halftime talk] with a spray and the boys responded well," Arthur said.
"We trained really hard this week. It probably showed in today's game but the good thing about it is that they'll learn to be a bit tougher and a bit mentally tougher, which we will then learn to push through it.
"So it was a learning curve for us but it showed the boys no matter what you do during the week, once you take the field there are no excuses and we didn't look for them today and found a way to win so I'm happy."
With the Eels temporarily elevated above five other clubs log-jammed in the middle of the table, Arthur noted that there is still a lot of improvement within his young team if they are going to make any inroads come September.
"I thought we thought it was going to come easy and we slackened right off with our intensity but we'll learn. We have to improve our execution and our attention to detail," Arthur said.
"There's just a bit of polish missing at the end of our sets. I thought that while we can still create opportunities it has been a problem for us all season. Let's put it in perspective though, we still scored 32 points.
"I'm not going to make excuses because we haven't done that all season but we're still pretty young too. We have like 1100 games between us. Two of our players in Ben Smith and Fuifui Moimoi make up 350 of those games between them so our lack of experience showed up a little bit today again."
In further positive news for the Eels, a corked thigh from back rower David Gower isn't considered a long-term hindrance.