Eels not getting rewarded for effort: Arthur
Eels coach Brad Arthur says he is still proud of the efforts being put in by his players each week but lamented some poor defensive reads that led to his side losing another winnable game on Sunday.
Speaking after his team gave up an 18-4 lead to lose 18-28 against Canberra at GIO Stadium, Arthur said the Eels were not getting any rewards for the work they put in after also coughing up big leads against Penrith and Cronulla in the past two months.
"I'm still as proud as I was last week of them. All year our effort's been outstanding," Arthur said.
"We probably need to get a bit more for our effort… There were too many points scored in the second half, we probably lacked a little bit of class there at time.
"We're trying really hard, we just need to get more reward for the effort we're putting in."
Arthur said he didn't want to single any players out but it was clear the right-edge defensive misreads from centre Vai Toutai and winger Bevan French were a concern, with the former eventually being shifted to the left flank in a bid to stem the bleeding of points being heaped on by Raiders left-edge weapons Jarrod Croker (one try, three try assists) and Brenko Lee (four tries).
"You don't want to single anyone out but yep, they got us there with a bit more experience, we came up with a couple of bad reads and the bad reads cost us because defensively we were really good," Arthur said.
"Our forwards aimed up and did a good job through the middle. We're not going to get any luck. One of the tries I'm sure they were offside from the kick and regained the ball and it was a back to back try. We're just not going to get any luck.
"We got off to a good start. We got off to a good start against the Broncos too.
"The start of the second half there was a try scored in there, it's not good enough. We need to make sure next week we start well and we play well in the first half but we need to be able to make sure we match it in the second half.
"Sometimes things go against you but we need to respond better. We came up with big errors. Last week as well we came up with big errors in defence. You can't do it."
Arthur was satisfied his forwards matched it well with Canberra's monstrous pack.
"I thought our forwards did a really good job to handle them. We got beaten on an edge a few times just through lack of experience and when you're down a few players that's what happens but at the end of the day people come in and they've got to do a job."
Eels captain Tim Mannah said the team needed to have done a better job to halt Canberra's momentum in a period early in the second half where the Green Machine ran in four unanswered tries in just over 15 minutes.
"I think we just needed to get our hands on the ball and steady the ship a little bit. That's all we had to do," Mannah said.
"We let them get away with a bit more momentum than they should have. It cost us."