Arthur urges Eels to finish strongly
Parramatta coach Brad Arthur has urged his players not to let the positives of a horror 2016 go to waste after the Eels suffered their biggest loss of the season on Friday night, going down 38-16 to the Broncos at Suncorp Stadium.
Only a special piece of play from Anthony Milford to set up a try for Corey Oates on the stroke of half-time saw the sides go in at the break level at 10-apiece but it was all Brisbane in the second term, scoring six tries to one and converting only three goals from nine attempts.
The 22-point margin usurped their 20-point loss to the Titans three weeks ago with Arthur labelling it as the "worst half of footy we've played".
In the midst of the off-field dramas that will forever define the Eels' 2016 season it is easy to gloss over the on-field gains that have been made by a resilient Parramatta team and Arthur warned that they were in danger of undoing their good work if they can't live up to their standards in the final three weeks of the season.
"We've got a whole pre-season to look forward to for next year," Arthur said post game.
"We've done a lot of good stuff this year, we don't want to undo it with three performances where we drop our standards or we become another team.
"Regardless of what's ahead of us or not ahead of us in terms of being able to play semi-final football, we want to be trying to do everything we can to win every game.
"We need to take some momentum into the pre-season because it's a long pre-season and we don't want to have too many regrets."
Having not made a line-break since Round 13, Anthony Milford finally cut loose against Parramatta with all three clean breaks through the Eels defence leading directly to tries.
He set up one for Oates from long range to end the first half, stepped past three Eels defenders who could barely lay a hand on him to score himself early in the second half and with the final play of the game wriggled free of the Parramatta defence to put Tevita Pangai Jnr over for the second try of his NRL career.
The Eels' early season success was built on defensive resolve and captain Tim Mannah is confident that such poor efforts won't be repeated in coming weeks.
"It was more the way he scored it," Mannah said of the impact Milford's try had early in the second half.
"There were a lot of things tonight where we went away from the small parts of our job that we're proud of. We didn't do a good job on their halves tonight and it showed.
"Tonight was just a blip. We'll move on past that and I'm confident the boys will have the right attitude.
"We want to win. Regardless of the situation, we just want to win games so we'll make sure we do everything we can to fix up the things that went wrong tonight and be better next week.
"That second half wasn't us. We went away from a lot of things that make us who we are and the things we've worked really hard to be known for.
"That second half was really disappointing in that we let ourselves down in terms of going away from our standards."
Touted as a possible late inclusion against the Broncos winger Semi Radradra will play his first game since Round 18 against the Raiders in Canberra next Sunday but back-rower Beau Scott is not expected back until the following week against the Dragons.