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19 Aug 2017 0:46
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  •   Home > News > Sports > Rugby League

    Eels NRL coach Arthur bans the 'F' word

    Parramatta coach Brad Arthur says he's refusing to talk about the NRL finals with his players because they're yet to guarantee themselves a top-eight spot.

    - article from www.rugbyleague.co.nz

    Don't utter the 'F' word in front of Parramatta NRL coach Brad Arthur.

    Finals that is.

    With the blue and golds on the cusp of their first finals appearance in eight seasons, their long-suffering fans are daring to dream.

    But not coach Arthur.

    With his club in the midst of the longest finals drought of any club, he's refusing to broach the subject.

    "When we've got enough wins to ensure we're in the finals, I'm happy to talk about it," Arthur said.

    "But at the moment, we haven't."

    Arthur has refused to talk finals with his charges however, barring a spectacular collapse, they will make the top eight and look well poised to rattle some cages.

    Against teams in the top eight, the Eels have won seven of 10 matches.

    Although it should be noted two of those matches, against Melbourne and North Queensland, were affected by State of Origin.

    And while the club haven't played finals since 2009, they still appear capable of handling the occasion with 12 players in Arthur's squad boasting finals experience.

    The Eels will move to 30 points, and possibly into the top four, with victory over Canterbury on Thursday night at ANZ Stadium.

    The Eels are unchanged from the side who beat Brisbane last week while the Dogs, who are out of the finals picture, are expected to shift Chase Stanley from the centres into the halves.

    Even without fullback Clint Gutherson, who is gone for the year with a knee injury, the Eels looked like contenders in their 28-14 win over the Broncos and Arthur says they must continue to prove their worth.

    "Finals are the furthest thing from my mind at the moment because we're not guaranteed a finals spot," Arthur said.

    "What's really important is that we don't let ourselves down after what we did last weekend.

    "We're coming up against a very-committed Bulldogs team. They're very good defensively and they'll be tough and playing for their coach."

    STATS THAT MATTER:

    * The Bulldogs are yet to score more than 24 points in a game this season. The last time they failed to score 24-plus in a match during a season was in 1978

    * At ANZ Stadium, the Eels have won eight of 10 this season including six straight matches

    Source: Fox Sports Stats.


    NZN




    © 2017 NZN, NZCity


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