Parramatta coach Brad Arthur was full of praise for his young side after Saturday’s 36-0 win over St George Illawarra.
Parramatta coach Brad Arthur hailed his players after Saturday’s 36-0 thumping of St George Illawarra and believes the future is bright for his exciting, young side.
On a red-hot autumn afternoon in Sydney, Arthur’s rejuvenated Eels’ were simply too good for a dismal Dragons outfit in front of a sell-out crowd – the first for more than two years at Parramatta Stadium.
Superstar fullback Jarryd Hayne and in-form winger Ken Sio each bagged a brace with giant young forward Pauli Pauli and Corey Norman both going over for their first tries of the season.
Arthur has now guided the Eels to six victories since his arrival at the club in October – eclipsing the number of games won last year and matching the team’s 2012 record.
It was the hosts’ second convincing win in a week following Monday’s 42-24 win over Cronulla and their biggest ever against the joint-venture, who have now lost six of their past seven matches.
“I’m really happy with our effort on the back of a five-day preparation,” Arthur said.
“We went up to North Queensland on the back of a five-day preparation last month and us as staff we didn’t get it right.
“We were a little bit soft in our preparation but we toughened up this week and we played tough.”
It was the first time the Eels have held a team scoreless since beating Cronulla 30-0 in round 21 2009 and Arthur said he was pleased with the progress his young side’s making.
“I was here two years ago and I knew what these boys had to offer and they were two years younger then as well,” he said.
“I think the inclusion of Nathan Peats and Will Hopoate have helped steady things as well.
“All the boys are rolling up their sleeves and whenever we have 17 players playing to their capacity we give ourselves a chance.”
Dragons coach Steve Price slammed his side and said they need to turn things around quickly if they are to have any chance of saving a season that started with such promise.
Last week Price saw his team slump to a 38-6 defeat to Canterbury and they have now conceded 108 points and scored just 20 in their past three games.
Even the signing of Benji Marshall failed to fire their attack and Price said he was baffled for the reason for such a poor showing.
“It’s a tough one to take, we are training outstanding, I just can’t put my finger on it at the moment,” Price said.
“We had a pretty simple gameplan but we just couldn’t implement it.
“When you are completing at 55 per cent in the first half and they are 82 it makes it quite difficult.
“I was confident at 12-0 at halftime I was confident we could overpower them. But it wasn’t good enough.”
“We need to have a really hard look at ourselves.”
Marshall showed a few flashes of his former self, but he was largely peripheral in attack for most of the game in what was a miserable debut for the former Wests Tigers star.
“I thought some things he did were quite good and some things he needs to work on,” Price said.
“We didn’t expect miracles and there is still a lot of work to do and he’ll improve.”