Eels win marred by staggering injuries

Victory may have come at a terrible price for Parramatta.

However, Eels coach Brad Arthur appeared thankful that his much maligned NRL club had finally found a way to win.

Milestone man Anthony Watmough was among the growing list of casualties in the wake of the Eels’ stirring 26-22 victory over an Origin star-depleted Melbourne at AAMI Park on Monday night.

Watmough (shoulder) finished his 300th game on the sidelines as did fullback Reece Robinson (cheekbone), hooker Nathan Peats (eye, knee) and reserve rake Kaysa Pritchard (shoulder).

Robinson was sent to a Melbourne hospital with a suspected shattered cheekbone while Peats and Pritchard were booked for scans as the Eels monitored Watmough.

It ensures an anxious period ahead of Parramatta’s NRL bye.

Initially the injury toll seemed to set the stage for another Parramatta disappointment.

Especially after strike weapon Robinson was lost in just the sixth minute.

However, the Eels held on to salute Watmough and avoid dead last on the NRL ladder with their second win in Melbourne in 10 visits.

Much to Arthur’s relief after watching his side squander a 30-6 lead against Brisbane last round.

“Every victory is great but that one has come at a good time for us, we needed it,” Arthur said.

“The boys have been trying really hard and we have found ways to lose a game.

“Tonight we found a way to win a game, especially when our backs were against the wall.

“If we had that resolve at 30-6 last week, had that killer instinct, then it might have been a different story for us.”

Parramatta needed some good news after Scott Seward – their fourth CEO in as many years – left last week.

It added to a horror year in which they have been fined $525,000 and may lose four competition points in 2016 for salary cap breaches.

Then there was playmaker Chris Sandow’s public falling out with Arthur over their attacking style.

But Parramatta showed spirit to come back after trailing 12-0 early and 22-16 in the 66th minute despite on-field confusion caused by the spate of injuries.

“We were out on our feet a bit with the injury toll we had and had blokes playing all over the shop,” Arthur said.

“At one stage there we were trying to work out who was playing where.”

Eels captain Tim Mannah added: “We weren’t really sure who was playing where but the boys showed a lot of character to put that aside and just focus on getting their job done no matter where they were.”

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