Arthur insists no Eels' attacking concerns

Parramatta have scored just two points combined in their past two NRL matches against top-eight teams, but Brad Arthur insists there is no cause for concern.

Eels head coach BRAD ARTHUR
Eels head coach BRAD ARTHUR Picture: Mark Metcalfe/Getty Image

Parramatta coach Brad Arthur insists there is no cause for concern about his NRL team's attack after failing to score a try for the second time in three weeks.

The Eels were gallant in their 20-2 loss to Penrith on Friday night, but were barely let in the game by the top-placed Panthers.

They had just six play-the-balls on Penrith's line compared to the Panthers' 57 on theirs, and had very limited opportunities.

But it doesn't change the fact they couldn't cross the stripe against the Panthers, after being held to nil by fellow top-eight team South Sydney a fortnight ago.

"No (it's not the worry). We didn't put ourselves in a position to score," Arthur said.

"I was probably a bit disappointed that we defended for 20 minutes (at the start of the game) and turned them away on our tryline.

"We got down their end and got a set restart and we got a play wrong and (Clint Gutherson) dropped the ball (not looking) on tackle three.

"Whereas they got a set and when they got a repeat set they got to the end of that set and got another set.

"When tackles mount up to 10, 12, 18 tackles in a row something's bound to give."

There's little doubt Parramatta are missing injured five-eighth Dylan Brown - who won't return before finals - with Mitchell Moses struggling to recapture his early-season form.

In better news though, hooker Reed Mahoney is expected to come back from his shoulder injury on Friday night against Brisbane, after utility Ray Stone played dummy-half against Penrith.

Fellow utility Will Smith came off the bench against Penrith for his first football since March, after the shutdown of reserve grade,

Arthur is yet to decide if he will give Smith another run next week for match fitness in case he is required in the finals.

"I'm proud of what Will done, on the back of not playing any footy and just training and training," Arthur said.

"He played the whole second half."

Friday's loss left Parramatta still needing one more win to wrap up a top-four spot, but likely in line for another clash with Penrith in the opening week of the finals.