Parramatta coach Brad Arthur labelled the side's attack "clunky" in their 16-6 trial loss to the Panthers but was not concerned overall leading into round one after a high-intensity contest.

Tries to Panthers halves Jarome Luai and Nathan Cleary upstaged the Eels in the pre-season clash that produced a free-flowing game.

The Eels' only try of the match came from a Dylan Edwards error in the air that landed in the hands of Tom Opacic, while they were denied tries on three occasions due to gritty goal-line Panthers defence.

Mitchell Moses and Dylan Brown looked sharp for the blue and gold in the opening stages but fell away as the match progressed before Arthur gave the pair an early spell with 15 minutes to go.

"It [the attack] was clunky but they were just tired getting into position," Arthur said.

"It [the trial] was just about making sure there were no injuries and getting some match fitness – get used to the speed of the game because it was fast.

"The speed of the first half they reckoned it was around 95 metres per minute which is pretty high.

"Gutho [Clint Gutherson] was 120 metres per minute in the first 20 minutes so it was very fast.

"I think both teams were real tired at stages and the quality of the shape was off at times but I think that was because of the speed of the game. It's just going to take a bit of getting used to.

"We had a plan to get the players off a lot earlier than we did but I thought they needed the match fitness."

Arthur said his starting 13 was all but settled with Opacic doing enough to earn the vacant right centre spot ahead of their round one clash against the Broncos on March 12.

The make-up of the bench appears to be the only area which Arthur will need to finalise before the season opener.

Eels forward Marata Niukore took part in the trial but is suspended for the first round, while Arthur will need to decide whether to run with a bench utility or four forwards.


"There's probably one or two spots on offer," he said.

"Everyone was just looking to get their second wind and some took longer than others to get it.

"There were some good patches and there were some patches where we've got to get a bit better especially trying to absorb on the back of an error, penalty or six-again."


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  • "It [the attack] was clunky but they were just tired getting into position," Arthur said lol 


    • BA is fried!!!

      • Agree Bazza 

  • No shit Sherlock!


  • The games to fast? what? Thats not an excuse.
    Lane: Unmotivated and lazy in lateral defence. Looks like hes been playing tired for a year now. Drop him to reserve grade
    Gutherson: Does not talk enough and his position at fullback limits that. Needs to communicate with Moses more
    Moses: Does not direct the team around enough. Hes very good at setting a vision but is terrible at sharing it with players around him.
    D Brown: Fantastic player who covers well in defence. More involvement and game management eneded.
    Papalli: Outstanding, hes going to be the buy of the year.
    Hipgrave: Very disappointing, should spend time in reserve grade.
    W Blake: OMg its going to be a very long year. Him and Fergo have doubled down over the offseason and both shoot out of the line.
    Fergo: Should have been medically retired. Lost his speed and lateral movement. His knees cant handle the game and is using his power to barge over. Doesnt bring the ball back.
    Sivo: Very overrated now as opposition have nullified his entire game. Very bad in defence and doesnt take the high ball well. Let him sign with another club.

    There are ALOT of problems to fix with the first being energy. 

    • Have to agree.

      • Disagree on Sivo, he is devastating close to the line, not once did he have a 1 on 1 situation, every time he got the ball he had 2 to 3 panthers on him. 

        All the panthers had to do was protect the edges, we were too dum to punch a few up the middle with support players. Then run the edges off of quick play the balls. Seems nothing's changed since last year.

        • Maybe but its too early to say to be truthfully honest. Sivo made a few good touches in the trial against Penrith but overall he wasn't that impressive but its still early days. Let's see how he goes after a few rounds. The Eels overall in the match against Penrith were not that good in my opinion and there are a lot of concerns that need to be seriously addressed.

          • Jesus Mont's it is not a popularity contest, Aracom obviously didn't watch the game or his seeing eye dog, told him what was happening, Krupty got it right.....Mont's don't listen to the noise, look and learn and then analyse what is being said. Most of the comments coud have been written before the kick off.

    • Dylan Brown runs to sideways for me. Need more depth in the backline.  Edge defence is still garbage. Opicac looks ok. Lane must be on borrowed time. Looked like the players were in second gear.

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