PARRA S INK TO A NEW LOW

… and Eels coach wild af­ter New­cas­tle ham­mer Parra

The Sunday Telegraph (Sydney) - - SPORT - JAMES PHELPS

EM­BAR­RASS­ING, weak, and un­pro­fes­sional.

That’s how Parramatta coach Brad Arthur de­scribed the Eels af­ter his side sank to a new sea­son low last night, belted by New­cas­tle in an ANZ Sta­dium hor­ror show. And few would ar­gue. In a per­for­mance which put the Eels on a col­li­sion course with the wooden spoon, Parramatta con­ceded five tries and scored just one in ar­guably their worst ef­fort of 2018. Maybe even worse than the 54-0 ca­pit­u­la­tion to Manly in round two.

The Eels were only spared the in­dig­nity of be­ing kept score­less against the in­juryrav­aged Knights when Josh Hoff­man scored a con­so­la­tion try in the 75th minute.

“It is em­bar­rass­ing,’’ Arthur said. “We are not proud of that per­for­mance. We are not proud of our­selves. We have let a lot of peo­ple down tonight, our club, our fans and most im­por­tantly our­selves. We have em­bar­rassed our fans.’’

And things could get worse — if that’s pos­si­ble.

In a blow that will cer­tainly add to the cri­sis, Mitchell Moses was taken from the field with a sus­pected MCL tear in his left knee, Be­van French suf­fered a ham­string in­jury and Te­pai Mo­eroa was placed on re­port for a shoul­der charge.

But right now Arthur has big­ger prob­lems.

The un­der-siege coach ques­tioned his team’s pro­fes­sion­al­ism af­ter a per­for­mance low­lighted by four Eels de­fend­ers al­low­ing Knights prop Daniel Saifiti to score a try off a one out hit-up fol­low­ing an in­jury time-out.

“It is not good enough” Arthur said. “Nowhere near it. We had some in­juries but that is not an ex­cuse. Last year we had in­juries and that gal­vanised us.

“We played some of our bet­ter foot­ball when we were down and out. We need more want and de­sire. We got here tonight and I don’t know where our men­tal­ity was at.

“It cer­tainly wasn’t at be­ing tough.’’

The de­mo­li­tion job ended any hope of a fi­nals mir­a­cle and left the Eels an­chored at the bot­tom of the NRL ta­ble.

Not even the prospect of Jar­ryd Hayne and Tim Man­nah re­turn­ing from in­jury next week could give Arthur rea­son to be op­ti­mistic.

“We have to stop with the talk,’’ Arthur said. “We have to start ac­tion­ing it. Hope­fully we get some play­ers back but we will have to wait and see later in the week.’’

Arthur ques­tioned his own per­for­mance, with his job now seem­ingly un­der threat.

“They get paid to play well and I get paid well to coach. Right now we aren’t do­ing it. So let’s do it,’’ he said.

Dec­i­mated by in­juries to key play­ers, the makeshift Knights ended a four-match los­ing streak to give coach Nathan Brown fresh hope.

“We have had a tough month,’’ he said.

“To come here tonight with our share of prob­lems and win, is great.’’

Pic­ture: AAP

Sione Mata'utia scores for the Knights dur­ing their an­ni­hi­la­tion of the Eels at ANZ Sta­dium last night.

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