Now that his team has put some pride in the jersey, Parramatta coach Brad Arthur says it’s time to deliver some wins.
In their final game of the year, the third-year Eels coach expressed his frustration with his men after they blew a six-point lead with two minutes remaining to go down 24-18 in golden point against Canberra on Sunday afternoon.
A try to Raiders winger Edrick Lee on the buzzer forced the game into overtime, before hooker Josh Hodgson dummied his way over late in the extra period to steal a dramatic comeback win.
“That game there typifies our season, for mine,” Arthur vented post-game.
“The boys have tried really hard and played with some pride, passion and spirit in their performances, but it’s not good enough anymore.
“That game was ours, we were the better team. We need to win that game of football.”
Arthur took exception to the way his team conceded the try to Lee on the fulltime siren, as well as the referees’ decision to rule a knock-on that handed the Raiders the ball from the previous kickoff.
“That last try with ten seconds to go, we’ve got to do better there.
“We’ve got to make that tackle and we’ve got to put them into touch.
“They shouldn’t have scored but you know what, they shouldn’t have been there anyway.
“A minute to go, they kickoff and they touch the ball. There’s no knock on there. It’s the wrong decision.”
The loss completes a disappointing season for the Eels that began with the exit of star fullback Jarryd Hayne and included the mid-season departure of halfback Chris Sandow.
The club was also heavily fined for breaching the salary cap.
The Eels remained in contention with the top eight until the final month of the regular season but fell away late in the year, leaving Arthur to demand more from his players over the summer.
“A few things went against us today, but we just kept fighting and fighting,” he said.
“That’s got to be pleasing for our fans, that there’s something there and we’re building on it. But next year, there’s no excuses any more. Trying hard just doesn’t cut it.”
The Eels’ roster, which will train through the finals, will be boosted by the arrivals of Kieran Foran, Michael Gordon and Beau Scott in the off-season.