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Parramatta coach Brad Arthur refused to blame Mitchell Moses for failing to boot home a penalty goal on the siren in the side's 13-12 loss to the Panthers.

Moses hardly put a foot wrong for the Eels on Friday night with 11 carries and two kicks that led to tries in what many were calling his State of Origin audition for the Blues in the final game of the series on July 14.

But it was his final minute penalty goal attempt under pressure that stole the limelight to finish the match in a moment that Arthur said didn't lose the Eels the game.

"It would've been nice but it doesn't come down to that last shot," Arthur said.

"We had a couple of opportunities earlier that we didn't ice. If he kicks it it's great but it's part of the game. He had a shot at a field goal too and I thought he hit that pretty good. It's part of footy.

"He did his job, he played well. I thought it was a fair game of footy. Both teams were pretty physical.

"They had good field position in the last half hour of the game. They had a lot of ball attacking our line.

"That was probably the difference, the field position in the end."

Papali'i simply just can't be stopped

The Eels did well to deny the Panthers before Burton's field goal with Clint Gutherson and Marata Niukore pulling off a try-saver on Viliame Kikau.

However, the visitors were their own worst enemies in the final 30 minutes with ill-discipline gifting the Panthers yardage.

"I think it was a better performance from us, we're getting closer," Arthur said.

"Obviously we weren’t good enough to win the game tonight but it could've gone either way tonight.

"I know they're missing Nathan, he's a big out for them. In those games when it's tight and teams are getting stuck into each other points are hard to come by."

Meanwhile, Arthur addressed Tom Opacic's decision to play on Friday night following the death of his older brother Jake in a traffic incident on the Gold Coast earlier in the day.

"I suggested that he didn't play but he wasn't taking that," Arthur said.

"He wanted to be around his mates and wanted to make sacrifices for teammates. As a club it shows where we're at. We didn't get the result but we were close."

The Eels released a statement late on Friday night expressing their condolences to the Opacic family.

"Tom was brave to play in tonight's game under painful circumstances, and we will support him during this difficult time," the statement said.

Acknowledgement of Country

National Rugby League respects and honours the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.

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