Reece Robinson runs away to score the match-winner against Penrith in Darwin on Saturday.

Eels v Panthers: Five key points

The Eels got the two points against the Panthers in a scrappy match to keep their slim Telstra Premiership finals hopes alive. Here are five key points from the clash in Darwin.

Eels top Panthers in dour affair

Arthur explains blunt attack

It was by no means the most entertaining game of football, as both teams struggled to have an impact in attack, but Eels coach Brad Arthur insisted after the win over Penrith that he'd much rather see great effort from his team than great attacking execution.

"First half I thought we defended really well - at one stage I thought we made 100 tackles more," Arthur said.

"Defensively we used up a fair bit of gas and when we got into the other end of the field we were just too tired for the boys to get into position properly.

"Our attack was ugly tonight but to the credit of the playing group they toughed it out.

"At the time during the game I'd much rather better execution, but the end result playing tough like that is really pleasing for them." 

Cleary struggles to find positives

It was a loss that the Panthers coach emphatically declared ended his side's aspirations of making finals footy this year, and in the aftermath Ivan Cleary struggled to find any positives.

"It's hard to find (any positives) at the moment, it's been a disappointing year and tonight was a disappointing night," Cleary said.

"We've been trying to concentrate on putting in a good performance and trying to get a win which hasn’t happened for a while now.  

"We've had every chance in the last three games to win and we haven't been able to execute well enough to do that.

"We bombed four tries there tonight andthe way we're travelling you just can't afford to do that."

 

Eels love coming to Darwin

It hasn’t been the happiest of seasons for the Parramatta Eels, but now they finally have a winning record – at Darwin's TIO Stadium.

The win against the Panthers makes it two-from-two for the Eels, a record that bodes well for the team for their upcoming visits in the next few years.

"The fans have been great for us and we've managed to get two wins (in Darwin)," Arthur said.

"The support has been great, the boys have got a good opportunity to relax and just get out of Sydney for a little bit, they've been getting hammered a little bit. 

"It was just good they were able to relax and concentrate on their footy."

Mannah focuses on defensive strength

They certainly couldn't fire with ball in hand but like his coach, Tim Mannah preferred to focus on what the Eels did well, and that was their effort in defence.

"It was really good, it was really positive, our attack was all over the shop in the first half but I thought the pleasing thing was our defence," Mannah said. 

"I think tonight we won on the back of our defence… our attack wasn't where we wanted it to be."

"The boys found another level and dug pretty well tonight to make sure we got the result."

Radradra stars yet again

It's not often a team's most dominant player sits on their wing, but Semi Radradra well and truly is that for the Parramatta Eels after another brilliant display.

He had a whopping 243 metres, two linebreaks and a try for Parramatta, a performance that wasn't lost on his coach. 

"He's a talent and he probably got us out of jail a few times," Arthur said.

"He's starting to learn the game the big thing for Sammie is that he's talking more and he's starting to become a leader."

"Both our wingers have got good strong carries."