His team may have pushed the Sydney Roosters for over an hour, but it’s their next 80 minutes that will decide whether Parramatta are true title threats.
That’s the belief of Eels coach Brad Arthur, whose team folded late to suffer their first loss of the season on Saturday.
Having entered the game unbeaten through five rounds, Parramatta looked set to extend their run when they led by two midway through the second half.
However, the Roosters flexed their premiership muscle by scoring 16 points in the final 20 minutes to stretch their own winning streak to four.
“The effort was good and it was probably a good game of football to watch. I just think they were too professional for us at the end,” Arthur said.
Now the onus is on the players to learn from their lessons and rebound against the other half of last year’s grand finalists, Canberra, next week.
And they may also have to do it without firebrand lock Nathan Brown, who was penalised for a high tackle on Roosters opposite Victor Radley.
Front-rower Kane Evans will be available for selection after missing the Roosters game with suspension.
Asked whether he had seen enough to label his team genuine premiership material, Arthur said: “We’ve got another tough game next week against Canberra.
“I’ll be able to answer that later on once we know if we learn from a few of those situations that we put ourselves in tonight.
“We didn’t give up. I thought we had plenty of belief, and once we got a bit of momentum, we showed that we can be a reasonable football team.
“We’d just like to be more professional in closing that game out.”