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Parramatta’s season has been left in a precarious balance after a lopsided penalty count and some insipid defence saw the Blue & Gold outgunned by the Canberra Raiders 26-18. Sixties and Forty20 are joined by a voice from the crowd this week in Jeremy – a fiercely loyal fan of the Eels – as The Tip Sheet sorts through yet another frustrating loss.
Sixties vents his issues with a sudden shift in officiating over the last fortnight that has seen the Eels concede 17 penalties in their last two games including a backbreaking 10-3 count against the Raiders. Surprisingly, Brad Arthur validates Sixties’ vexation as he lands a scathing criticism of the officiating in his post-game presser. It is the first in his 9.5 years as the head coach of the Eels to do anything of the sort but ‘BA’ was clearly frustrated at the discrepancies between internal correspondance and on-field interpretations.
Defence was the breaking point this week, literally for the team but figuratively for Forty20. Following another game where structurally they were largely sound but a string of lapses and soft contact led to chunk gains for the Raiders, the focus agains falls on why the Eels are playing so soft in defence. Now with South Sydney up next, things can get a lot worse before they get better in defence.