NRL 2024: Parramatta Eels press conference, Brad Arthur defends Dylan Brown, Eels struggle without Mitch Moses, who will be picked next week, reaction

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Parramatta coach Brad Arthur has leapt to the defence of playmaker Dylan Brown after the Eels slumped to their second loss in as many games without injured half Mitch Moses.

Brown has been tasked with the halfback role in Moses’s absence, but the Eels attack has lacked plenty of spark and direction in the side’s two losses against the Tigers and Raiders.

Young gun Blaize Talagi has played five-eighth in the past two games, but he was essentially unsighted against Canberra.

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When asked to summarise the horror night, Arthur said his side was simply outplayed, but didn’t think a lack of effort was the issue.

“We were outplayed. Too many moments either side of the ball whether it be in attack or defence where we just lacked consistency,” Arthur said.

We just have to be better with those fundamentals and being consistent with them. From there we drop our head and it snowballs out of control.

“41 points I know isn’t great. But I don’t think it was effort-based or soft. I thought it was around the big moments which we didn’t nail.”

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Fox League’s Niko Pajarillo then put to Arthur if there was any temptation to pick rookie halfback Ethan Sanders in order to move Brown back to his natural position of five-eighth.

“No, because I thought Dylan was very good tonight,” the Eels coach answered.

“He kicked well, he ran well, he scrambled well. Like I said, when you have everyone across the board not owning their fundamentals, that does put pressure on Dylan. That’s not going to help us.”

Matty Johns said after the game on Sunday Night with Matty Johns, that Brown is not ready to be a halfback at the moment.

“Dylan is a fantastic runner of the football … I just don’t think at this point in he’s a career that he’s a seven. Not the sort of the player at this point of his career to steer the side around the park. I think it’s weighing on him,” Johns said.

Eels legend Nathan Hindmarsh thinks Brown is more than capable of wearing the No. 7 jersey, but says the talented 23-year-old needs to play to his strengths.

“He can lead this side around. I know it’s not everyone’s cup of tea,” Hindmarsh said.

“He’s a better ball runner than a organiser so put the ball in your hand and run. Do it more.”

The Eels will aim to get their season back on track at home against the Cowboys next Saturday.

Originally published as ‘That’s not going to help us’: Arthur defends Eels playmaker after horror loss

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