Arthur laments another Eels fade-out
Dejected Eels coach Brad Arthur says Parramatta are currently a "70-minute team" after yet another late-game brain fade cost them a win for the third time in four weeks.
Even their win a week ago against Penrith featured a fade-out from 14-0 to 14-all despite their opponents missing key players, although the Eels managed to lift late to earn the win on that occasion.
"It's one of several [games that got away]," Arthur said on Monday night after a stunning capitulation saw his side squander a 30-6 lead with 20 minutes to go as the Cowboys piled on five unanswered tries in a 10-minute blast midway through the second half.
"We're a 70 minute team. We've got to be mentally tougher. When momentum swings against us we just don't know how to wrestle it back."
The period where his side only had two possessions out of 11 came under special examination from Arthur, who said it was the time where they needed to show more mental toughness, successfully defend one set and get the ball back.
He added it shouldn't be down to a confidence issue after the side had raced out to a five-tries-to-one lead on the back of some exhilarating attacking football.
"We just need to be a bit more ruthless but mentally we need to be a bit stronger," he added.
"That's a game that we definitely threw away. That's been us all year. Play for 70 minutes. You can't win games of footy in 70 minutes.
"When you only play for 70 minutes you're not going to win, you have to learn to play for 80 minutes. The 80 minutes doesn't have to all be quality but you've got to stay in the game mentally. We have players that just removed themselves out of that game for 10 minutes."
Arthur also lamented the way the Cowboys' five second half tries were scored.
"Four tries off kicks and one off an error for the five tries they scored," he said.
"Our tries, we had to work for and earn them, they were good tries. But it doesn't matter how you score them. They're all the same."
He said there was no point getting angry with his charges over the surrender, rather it was a case of trying to get to the bottom of why they can't stay in a game for the duration.
"We need to work out what we need to do when momentum shifts against us. We need all 13 on the field at the time to stand up with a bit of leadership. It's one set, kick off, we've got one set to defend. But we kick off, we give away a penalty. The same thing happened at Penrith last week.
"We hear the footsteps coming and we just can't wrestle it back."
Hooker Nathan Peats, fronting the press conference after skipper Tim Mannah was concussed late in the game, described the effort as "pathetic".
"When we were 30-6 up we spoke about how [Johnathan] Thurston plays and how they're going to keep fighting til the end, but we can talk all we want but we obviously didn't do what we said.
"Like Brad said it's very disappointing. They just kept getting a roll on and we just allowed them to roll 100 metres, and to score four tries off kicks is pretty pathetic if you ask me... the ones we let them grubber through, not even putting our feet out to stop it and just letting them dive on it, it's just not good enough and it's disappointing."