PARRA S INK TO A NEW LOW
… and Eels coach wild after Newcastle hammer Parra
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.’’
Sione Mata'utia scores for the Knights during their annihilation of the Eels at ANZ Stadium last night.