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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        • Apart from that Coryn they play a good brand of football 

  • The guys as dumb as a bag of hammers and to think we have to tolerate another year of his stupidity and cluelessness.

  • I like BA and back him as the coach but after seeing the same old garbage rolled out as last year I am starting to lose a bit of faith in him.

    • Exactly. I like him as a person and respect what he's done for the club. It's quite obvious he doesn't have it in him to be a top coach. His tactical nous and feel for the game is practically non existent. 

      • I still think we should have chased Matt Elliott as an assistant coach for BA.

  • Brads never concerned....

  • I'm not that excited about round 1 against the Broncos after the Eels performance against the Panthers. Unless things change dramtically it's not looking very good. 

    • Monts the broncs gave up 5 tries to nill in the second half yesterday, we should have too much class for the spooners 

  • I love Reed but we're too predictable from dummy half. A DH in this day of age apart from decent passing must also have a kicking game and pace off the spot for quick dart. I think this is one of our major issues.

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