Season slipping away from diabolical Eels
For the third straight week Parramatta have slumped to an uninspiring loss and their 16-10 to Penrith, while not their heaviest, was arguably their most inept.
Yet come breakfast Friday morning ... well, we reckon the Parramatta coach will still be sat up dissecting video, crunching numbers and pulling at what used to be his hair.
Only days after signing the contract extension that was meant to bring stability to the Eels, Arthur sat through 80 minutes of rugby league that sat somewhere between diabolical and wave a white flag and call the whole thing off early.
Truly, if the Eels were a horse they would've been shot.
And after 30 minutes.
So bad, fans booed them at the finish.
But enough of the positives.
The Eels were uglier than sandals with socks.
Ran one out constantly. Got caught on the last.
And as for dropped balls, think Wednesday Night Lotto.
Or Eels winger Blake Ferguson, who made three errors, receiving a Bronx cheer when he caught one late.
Yet if the game looked -- and sounded -- bad, how about the numbers?
With 10 minutes to go in the second half, the Eels' completion rate was seven from 14.
And 24 from 36.
By the finish, catching at just 67%.
And all this, remember, against a Penrith side that had lost its past six games.
So what the bloody hell has happened to the Eels?
For more than a couple of weeks now, we've been assured that everything would be sweet if they just re-signed coach Arthur.
And gave the King -- who occasionally goes by Clint Gutherson -- that upgrade which, quite rightly, he deserved.
But now that's happened?
Well, the Eels are going backwards.
The Panthers loss following embarrassing efforts against both North Queensland and Melbourne.
The latter, in Magic Round, where the Storm piled on 64 points.
And still had they won, Parramatta could've potentially sat top four by the end of this round.
Instead, they will be outside the eight.
And who knows exactly how low?
Honestly, this is not the game for which Bankwest Stadium was built.
Take the first half.
So bad, the biggest highlights were a touch judge crashing into a Penrith trainer.
And Blake Ferguson going on report for a trip.
While as for Eels halfback Mitch Moses ... well, apart from being decapitated, he also slipped over -- and went sideways -- while kicking a goal.
Bloody thing scraped over, too.
Oh, yeah, there were also a dozen penalties.
While young Panthers No.6 Jarome Luai was also placed on report for said tackle that almost took the head of Moses.
And the second half, it got no better.
Players high fived each other when errors were forced.
And high fived each other, as is now in vogue, when errors were made.
By the finish, hands going everywhere.