Warriors v Eels: Five key points
The Warriors made it back-to-back wins and handed Parramatta their fourth-straight defeat in the process on Sunday afternoon, downing the Eels 22-10 in Auckland. Here are the five key talking points from the Round 6 encounter.
Warriors completions a feature again
For the second week in a row the Warriors' economic use of the ball propelled them to victory, with coach Stephen Kearney reserving special praise for his side's completion rate at full-time.
The home team completed 20 of 21 sets in the first half, at a rate of 95 per cent, and finished the match having failed to complete only seven of their 39 uses of the ball.
It follows on from a performance seven days earlier where the Warriors completed at 86 per cent in a 28-22 win over the Gold Coast Titans.
"They might have made one error in the first half and they did really well," Kearney said.
Points hard to come by for Parramatta
The loss to the Warriors marked not only four-straight defeats for the Eels, but also four games in a row where they have failed to score more than three tries or 18 points in total.
After starting the 2017 campaign with a combined 54 points from their first two games, Parramatta appear to have lost their attacking mojo despite possessing what is a potentially lethal backline.
The Eels did come close to registering more points in Auckland, but were twice denied by further inspections from the NRL Bunker, something which coach Brad Arthur said may have affected his side's confidence.
"A couple of unlucky breaks with not getting a try and maybe if we score we find a bit more energy, but that is where we have got to be better," Arthur said.
Back five fire for Warriors
The Warriors powered through for 1,687 run metres against Parramatta, with almost half of their total tally coming from their back five alone.
Between them Roger Tuivasa-Sheck, Blake Ayshford, David Fusitu'a, Solomone Kata and Ken Maumalo ran for a combined 724 metres, with each of them going for over 100 individually.
"I think they have set a real standard for us the whole year to be honest, it wasn't just today," Kearney said of his back five.
"We have got some pretty good ball carriers out of the back field."
Captain Tuivasa-Sheck was the pick of the metre-eaters, with his personal haul of 204 helping him to a provisional 49 NRL Fantasy points.
Defensive progress starting to show
In Round 6 the Warriors held a team to fewer than 22 points for the first time in 2017.
In the five games prior to meeting the Eels the Kiwi franchise had leaked 24 per match on average.
While determined not to get carried away, Kearney said the positive performance off the ball had been a long time in the making.
"It possibly could [show progress]… that's been the work-on for us all pre-season," Kearney said.
"We will keep working on it… that's important for us."
French loss a distraction, not an excuse
On top of heading to Auckland on a three-game losing streak, the last thing Parramatta needed was an injury to one of their key players.
After losing fullback Bevan French to a knee injury late in the week, the Eels were forced to reshuffle their backline, with Clinton Gutherson shifting from five-eighth to fullback, Brad Takairangi moving to the halves and Kirisome Auva'a assuming the vacant spot in the centres.
But post-match Arthur said they were changes his side should have been prepared for.
"We trained all pre-season to be able to cope with times like this and that is definitely not an excuse," he said.
French is expected to miss at least a month with the injury, which was sustained at a team training session.