Arthur grateful for bargain buy Robson
Eels coach Brad Arthur has paid homage to veteran halfback Jeff Robson ahead of Friday night's trip to take on the Brisbane Broncos.
The 34-year-old playmaker returned to Parramatta – the side he steered to the 2009 Grand Final – before the June 30 deadline as cover for the recently released Kieran Foran.
Robson has played every minute since returning for the Round 18 clash against the Roosters, but his future beyond 2016 remains unclear.
"Robbo's done a really good job for us. People have got to remember that he's come here on a pensioner's wage, and he's come and played here five or six games now and done a really good job," Arthur said.
"He'll get us through to the end of the season, he's putting his body on the line for us and we're really grateful for that.
"But for the long-term future of this club, we need to go and target a real quality halfback to put alongside Corey Norman and then we're pretty complete with our team.
"When we find out what our [salary cap] space is and what we've got available, we want to try target a really quality halfback.
"We're not sure what next year holds for Robbo, but he's been really good for our young boys. He's a really good, calming head and influence around the club."
The Eels will need bit of Robson's experience as they prepare to take on a Brisbane side that bounced back to form last week with a scrappy 12-8 win over the Dragons.
That victory ended what had been a lean run for last year's grand finalists, with the Broncos managing just two wins from their previous nine matches.
Arthur said he was expecting the Broncos to bounce back to the sort of form that saw them vault into premiership favouritism before the State of Origin period took its toll.
"It's always a tough, physical game against the Broncos. They started really well and showed a few signs of fatigue through the Origin period, but I think they are looking to get themselves back on track leading into a finals series," he said.
"Last week they had to play a real tough and grinding game and we are expecting the same on Friday night.
"We have to play pretty smart with our completions. Every team that has won this year has had more possession than their opposition so possession is a big thing.
"We need to make sure we stay strong defensively, they have a lot of threats with their halves probably their two biggest dangers for us."
The Eels will have added motivation on Friday night with departing fullback Michael Gordon set to run out for his 200th NRL game.
"He plays a sort of different role for us as a fullback to a lot of clubs. He's more of a runner, his support is great and he puts his body on the line," Arthur said of the 32-year-old.
"I'm sure the boys will want to repay him with a real hard, tough performance, and they need to play the way he does, which is nice and tough."