Arthur expresses pride in Eels
Parramatta Eels coach Brad Arthur has expressed pride in his team's efforts following their 20-18 win over the Knights on Monday night.
In what has been a tumultuous period for the club in recent times, the Eels' two-point win marked their first victory since the NRL announced on May 3 their preliminary punishments for Parramatta's systematic mishandling of the salary cap.
With other dramas extending to a number of individuals across the club recently, Arthur was more than happy to talk about the Eels' good work on the field.
Arthur was the first to admit his side were ordinary at the beginning of the second half but said Newcastle's ability to only add the two penalty goals to their 14-10 half-time lead was the "turning point" in the game.
"I'm very proud of the boys. We had quite a few busted, we were down on troops and we toughed it out in the end," he said, alluding to injuries to Kieran Foran (shoulder) and Brad Takairangi (hamstring) in the win.
"We had a couple of a sets there at the end of the game where we didn't complete and turned the ball over cheaply. But we kept turning up.
"At the start of the second half our discipline was a bit of a problem for us and they had about 10 or 11 sets to our three or four. To keep turning them away there was probably the turning point of the game."
The Eels and Knights provided the NRL Telstra Premiership the game of the round despite it being one met with very little fanfare in the lead up.
That fact wasn't lost on Arthur who provided the Knights a confidence-booster despite his Eels handing Nathan Brown's team their sixth-straight loss.
"It's important we give Newcastle a bit of rap. They aimed up," Arthur said.
"They came at us and they played with plenty of energy and enthusiasm. They had a real crack and I think they can be proud of themselves."
Stand-in Eels skipper and ex-Knight Beau Scott – following his first game back at Hunter Stadium since his departure – singled out a handful of young forwards as the men for Newcastle to build their team around.
"They played really well," Scott said. "A couple of front-rowers there in Sam Mataora and Daniel Saifiti definitely have a bit of football in them. They are great kids for Newcastle and I think they're the future of the club."