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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  • All I can say to everyone is get ready for another long disappointing season BA isn't fit to coach park football let alone a NRL team this is a complete joke.

    • A long disappointing season like last year, or the year before Haissam.

      • If you consider them a success that's your opinion I can't object to what you think is a success in my opinion they were disappointing with the roster we had I can assure you under a different coach we would have done a lot more better BA is ruining the careers of the players look at Moses, Brown for example instead of improving as the season goes on they fell back 

        to him it was always the players fault he never took the blame for himself his excuses was always (we made some dum decisions in defense or we didn't put the effort in or we didn't try hard enough) he never had a game plan he's only plan is go out and put the effort in.

        remember last season he stopped coaching attack for a few weeks and concentrated on defense only what happened? Bennet the master dismantled our defense with his master piece coaching plan and humiliated us .

        we all here love the eels and want to see them succeed and win that elusive premiership which in my opinion its not going to happen under BA reign.

        • You may have a point but the players seem to love playing for him as they go do you explain that?

          You obviously know nothing about coaching when you say he stopped coaching attack, he did concentrate on defense because he had no one to focus an attack with, both halves injured and the wingers and Waqar dysfunctional. The literal translation is only interpreted by people that do not want to listen to what is said.

          You also make a comment about the "roster we had" the roster didn't have a rep player in it at that stage.

          Like many on here you do not understand that BA has actually done pretty well with the roster he has had, the debate is still going on about wether we underachieved or overachieved, do you understand the concept of that.....i.e. we underachived if we had a faboulous roster but we actually overachived with the roster we had.


          • They love him because they never get dropped 

          • So Poppa now we have 4 SOO players, maybe the future Kiwi 5/8, what have we got in 2021, Sorry 3 SOO, RCG didn't,t get a run but made the squad.

  • I know it's been said many times before but what the players seem to be lacking when they play is passion,passion for the club,passion in playing and having a career in doing something that  has meaning .I reckon the old days of having our players work their normal day jobs then turn up for training were the best years at Parra,now the money has taken over,the player managers have more passion for getting their clients the money than the players have for turning up to give it ago for the club but especially for themselves as a united team,didn't see much of that against penrith but Penrith had the look.

    • Yes for sure that maybe true for a number of players  in all football clubs Gail . Some players seem to turn up to play just for the pay cheque and not the glory .

  • I love Reeds work ethic but we need someone who can run as well as pass. Panthers look a totally different team with K in the 9 and we all know what Smith brings to the Storm. We saw what Grant did for the Tigers also.

    Cook and Friend are other examples.

    Reed is a tireless tackler and has a good kick, but he's a speed bump at times and never do you feel we are on top because he's leading the pack around.

    I don't see any of our backups as the answer either, we probably should have gone after a Brandon Smith. But until we are on the front foot in defence, we won't be on the front foot in attack and giving our halves room to do what they need to do.

    loyality is to be admired in life, but in business it can be a weakness.

    • So true Rider!

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