Parramatta left pondering what might have been
Frustrated Parramatta coach Brad Arthur believes his side would have won had Mitchell Moses kicked a sideline conversion after fulltime to send Saturday night’s match against Cronulla into golden point - but he admits they did not deserve to.
The Eels almost produced a great escape when they scored three tries in the last six minutes to reduce the home side's lead to two points but Moses failed to convert his own 80th minute try and the Sharks escaped with a 22-20 win.
For Arthur, the performance was a step back after consecutive wins over Manly and Wests Tigers but he believes they were on top at the end of the game.
“We probably robbed everyone of a good game in the end to see how it went,” Arthur said. “If we did get into golden point I thought we had momentum but we have no one to blame but ourselves.
“We spoke at halftime about giving ourselves a chance and we didn’t give ourselves a chance until about 10 minutes to go. We didn’t sustain any pressure except the pressure we put on ourselves.
“We rallied but we didn’t give ourselves a real good account of putting ourselves in field position and showing what we can do with the ball. We are just not building any pressure and not showing any patience.”
Eels captain Clint Gutherson said it was a wasted opportunity after the team appeared to have turned the corner following six successive defeats to start the Telstra Premiership season.
Both Arthur and Gutherson said Parramatta’s poor last tackle options and the failure to get out of their own half on some sets put the team under immense pressure, and they were forced to repeatedly defend their own line.
“We spoke at halftime about going out there and giving ourselves a chance. We waited until the last six minutes and we ran out of time,” he said. “It’s not good enough and it showed. It is not the way we wanted to finish. It is a loss.”