Parramatta coach Brad Arthur has warned his players not to let ill-discipline become a recurring habit after taking another step on Friday night towards a return to the Telstra Premiership finals.
The Eels 36-12 defeat of the Titans in front of 10,780 fans on the Gold Coast was tougher than the scoreline indicates, as Arthur stated poor discipline both with and without the ball contributed to a tight opening 40 minutes.
Parramatta almost scored inside 70 seconds yet took until midway through the second half to put the wooden-spoon bound Titans to bed.
Kept to just 40 per cent of possession in the first half, the Eels were twice marched 10 metres by the match officials for backchat after penalties. With an eye to September Arthur says they need to be better next Thursday against the Bulldogs.
"That's probably the most ill-disciplined performance we've put in this year. I'm disappointed with our discipline," Arthur said in the wake of the 24-point win that keeps them in sixth position on the ladder.
Match Highlights: Titans v Eels
"It's not good enough. We've worked really hard on it this year. It's been a big focus for us and the boys spoke about it after the game. It's not the standard that we've set and we need to be better than that.
"We need to make sure it's a one-off. They [the players] are probably more cranky about it than I am and addressed it.
"We had a heap of fans here tonight which was great, our support was excellent, and we probably needed to be better in a few areas for them."
Halfback Mitchell Moses was a standout for the Eels and is in complete command of his game at present but was also disappointed in the lack of patience his side displayed in the first half.
"I wasn't really happy with the way we started today," Moses said.
"We gave away a couple of penalties and our discipline was probably the worst it’s been all year.
"We normally pride ourselves on that. Just silly penalties and flick passes out of our backside.
"We just didn't show any patience in the first half. We probably should have had three or four more tries in the first half but we've just got to be patient.
Blake scores his first try as an Eel
"I thought we were very patient in the second half. Just ran hard and kicked to the corners and then the points eventually came."
Prop Junior Paulo was a late omission from the Eels side after rolling his ankle at training during the week, while winger Blake Ferguson will make an expected return to the side in a round 24 against the Broncos in Brisbane.