A shattered Parramatta coach Brad Arthur was at a loss to explain why his team can be so dominant one week then collapse to a horror 64-10 loss the next after his side capitulated in Magic Round against Melbourne.
The Eels were off their game from the outset, dropping plenty of ball and falling off 51 tackles as Melbourne's backline ran amok.
"Soft," was Arthur's blunt assessment of a diabolical 80 minutes.
"We went from a tough performance last week (against the Dragons) in the space of seven days to our softest performance.
"You're only as good as your last game and that was rubbish… we were not prepared to play these blokes for 80 minutes."
He said the Storm are hard to beat at the best of times, let alone when you try and "fluff" your way to a win.
Match Highlights: Storm v Eels
"We just had a conversation and the question is 'why?', he said.
"All the players are talking about soft, not good enough, embarrassing, but why? Why did we come like that, we had so much to play for."
Arthur is acutely aware the Eels need to harden up mentally to be in the fight for 80 minutes every week rather than every second week if they want to be considered a genuine threat in 2019.
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He said the ongoing contract uncertainty around himself and many key players in the top squad could not be used as an excuse.
"They're professional sportspeople, we all are, it doesn't matter once you take field what's gone on during the week, we have to go out there and play with pride and be happy and put our best effort out there," he said.