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The attack will come if the Eels defend

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20th August, 2020
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Parramatta coach Brad Arthur says he is not concerned about his side’s attack and has focused on their defence at NRL training in recent weeks.

Their attack is clunky but Arthur has praised his side’s defence after scoring a rare win over Melbourne.

For the first time since 2014 Melbourne were held scoreless on Thursday night, which is no mean feat despite the number of players sidelined for the second-placed team.

The Eels scored just two points in the second half of Thursday’s win at Bankwest Stadium but Arthur said he was not concerned as long as they can make their tackles.

In fact, it’s been a concerted effort over the past few weeks to concentrate on defence, doing minimal ball work at training.

“We need to learn to be able to grind out a full 80 minutes and there’s still parts of our game we’re not on top of, and part of that is making sure we can get three tries out [in front] and defend our way to a win because that’s what it’s going to take,” Arthur said. 

“It’s a good result, I do understand they had some quality missing but we can only defend what’s in front of us.”

Arthur was stony-faced but he was quietly thrilled to snap a four-game losing streak to Melbourne.

It was helped by winger Maika Sivo who scored his 22nd try in 20 games at Bankwest Stadium, with another coming against South Sydney next weekend.

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“It’s good for him, he likes playing here, he could have had another one last week,” Arthur said of his Fijian winger.

“It’s good for him, good for his confidence and we need him to score tries.

“It would be nice if we could fill the stadium again but he certainly gets the crowd going.

“He’s slowly getting there, he’s still learning different pieces of the game but his decision making is pretty good, he’s got a good educator inside him in Michael Jennings and his strike rate of finishing off movements and tries is pretty good, he doesn’t bomb many.
 
“There are still some things there, we’d like to see a bit more from him out of the backfield but I thought he carried the ball pretty strong tonight.”

After last week’s loss to St George Illawarra, the Eels are still yet to lose back-to-back games this season.

© AAP