Moments of weakness burn Eels
Last year the Parramatta Eels built a reputation as a team who showed resilience through all kinds of adversity, but over the last four weeks an inability to tough it out has been their downfall.
Parramatta suffered their fourth-straight loss in Round 6, going down 22-10 to the Warriors in Auckland, and now find themselves languishing in 13th position on the NRL Telstra Premiership ladder.
After holding a 6-0 lead heading into the final 15 minutes of the first half against the Warriors, the Eels leaked three tries in the space of 10 minutes to trail 16-6 at the break.
It proved to be a costly section of the match, and one which coach Brad Arthur said his side should have been able to battle their way out of.
"Ten minutes [was the difference], a period of 10 minutes there where we didn't probably handle the pressure too well," Arthur said.
"At the back end of that first half, out of the last 12 or 13 sets we only had two or three [of them] and possession is a big thing in rugby league.
"But we have got to learn to be able to stop momentum and fight our way out of it and defend a set without giving away a penalty or giving away back-to-back sets.
"We had 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, we have got to be able to put up with that and re-group, go back and start again."
Parramatta finished the match having missed 28 tackles compared to the Warriors' 12, and found themselves on the wrong end of the possession count with only 44 per cent of the ball.
But for fullback Clinton Gutherson the major concern was seeing his side leak three tries in the space of 15 minutes for the second week in a row.
"We are switching off for about 10 or 15 minutes and it's really costing us in the end," Gutherson told NRL.com.
"We need to fix that as soon as possible. If we keep doing that we are going to be at the bottom of the table.
"We have got a lot of belief in the group and if we keep doing what we need to do I am sure we will turn it around."
Meanwhile the Eels will await confirmation on the injury which forced Frank Pritchard from the field against the Warriors, with the veteran forward telling NRL.com that the initial signs pointed to a stint in the casualty ward.
"I find out probably [Monday], I get a scan on the foot, [but] probably a couple of weeks on the sideline," Pritchard said.
"Probably a hairline fracture in the ankle."