It was an ugly win for the Parramatta Eels last night and a game that they may have lost in previous years, as their unbeaten run at home in 2014 stays intact.
In a tense affair against the North Queensland Cowboys, the Eels had to grind the win out, with their defence shining through as they held off a fast-finishing Cowboys side.
There were heart palpitations galore for any Eels fan, as the Cowboys had one final chance to score and potentially win the game – only for the Eels to hold on and win narrowly.
The first half belonged to the Eels as they went into the break leading 14-6 but some sloppy play in the second is what allowed the Cowboys back into the game.
For Eels coach Brad Arthur, as a young side, they cannot afford to lose so many opportunities.
“We’re a young side and it was a game of lost opportunities,” said Arthur.
“They dug deep and with Thurston running around with ball in hand, we just found a way to win but we have to find a way to be better than that.
“We can’t dish that up again.”
The second half performance disappointed Arthur, knowing that his side could have closed the game out a lot better.
“We just need to make sure we can turn up on a weekly basis and execute things better in our second half,” said Arthur.
“We have to learn to become a better footy team.
“If we want to be a genuine threat in the competition, we need to be better.”
It was so close yet so far for the Cowboys side, as they could not find the additional gear or points to win the game.
With a golden chance to win away from home and snag a win, Cowboys coach Paul Green knows that the club missed an opportunity.
“We missed an opportunity here and we needed to play like that at the start of the game, rather than the end of the game,” said Green.
“We can’t rely on Jono [Jonathan Thurston] to pull us out, so we need to take the opportunity as I said and not put ourselves in that position.
With some sloppy defensive plays on their part to allow the Eels to score their tries, Green knows that the defensive errors tonight were ones the side would not usually make.
“We made some uncharacteristic defensive errors tonight,” said Green.
“I was always worried about this game with our Origin players. I wasn’t worried so much as to how they’d back up last week and I thought they were a little bit flat.”
The win cements the Eels spot in the top 8.
3. Junior Paulo
2. Jarryd Hayne
1. Chris Sandow