Arthur issues call to arms to Parramatta supporters
Parramatta coach Brad Arthur has appealed to fans to get behind the team in their final two home games to wrap up the 2018 Telstra Premiership season after a paltry 6,158 rolled up to ANZ Stadium on Saturday night to watch the 28-12 win over the Gold Coast.
It was just the Eels' fifth win of the year, but their third in their last seven games as they seem to be ending the competition in a flurry after a nasty 0-6 start.
Now locked in a three-way tussle at the bottom of the ladder with the Cowboys and Sea Eagles on just 12 competition points, getting a few more fans along to cheer might help the cause.
"It’s disappointing. But you’re sitting where we are, that’s what happens," Arthur said of the small showing on Saturday night, admittedly against an interstate team without a strong Sydney fan base.
"Hopefully our supporters and fans can see the boys are still putting in and trying to play with a bit of pride for the jersey. It would be nice to get a few more in numbers next week," Arthur said of the Dragons round 22 match next Saturday night.
Then two 'away' games to Storm and the Cowboys will see the Eels return for the final round 25 game of the competition against the Sydney Roosters at ANZ Stadium.
Arthur said the gutsy 16-point win over the Titans continued some better form for his team since their breakthrough win against the Cowboys in Darwin in round 14.
"In my opinion since the Cowboys win ….I think we’ve played really good footy. We’ve played some games we probably should have won but we’ve been in every game.
"The boys haven’t given up – the effort has been there. We need to continue that so we’ve got something to build on through the  pre-season.
"We look a bit like what we’re supposed to look like over the last six games, even though we haven’t won all of those."
Since the Eels have lost five games by just six points or less this year – two matches by two points in the past month – does Arthur stay awake at night wondering if his side should have been pushing for a top-eight finish?
"We can’t think that because we’ve lost seven games where we scored the same amount of tries [as opposition].
"We seem to be on the right path at the moment with the way we’re playing. The results don’t reflect that but we’re on the right path and we need to make sure we don’t take any steps backwards."
The Eels had another debutant on Saturday night in Jaeman Salmon. Arthur hooked winger Bevan French in the final 10 minutes to get Salmon into the fray.
He was part of the Sharks NYC side in 2017 was also an U16s and U18s NSW Origin representative.
"I needed to get Jaeman on the field… he was that excited to play. He helped design the new team song so I needed to give him a chance to taste victory. That’s what just worked out tonight."