Don’t waste your chance now.
That’s the message Parramatta coach Brad Arthur has for his players after the club broke the NRL’s longest finals drought with last week’s win over Gold Coast.
The victory means the Eels will end a seven-year absence from September football no matter the result of their final two home-and-away games.
But ahead of Thursday’s crunch clash against second-placed Brisbane, Arthur demanded his men to reach for higher honours and make the most of their finals shot.
A win over the Broncos could lift them into the top four for the first time since March, however Arthur admitted the team had been anxious in recent weeks.
“The monkey’s off our back so to speak because we are in the finals, but we had a bit of nervous energy about us against the Titans. We bombed quite a few opportunities,” he said.
“So we know that we secured a spot in the finals, now it’s up to us to try and win as many games between now and the end of the year to get ourselves up the ladder.”
Arthur said the team had learnt from their shock loss to Newcastle a fortnight ago.
“I know the Newcastle game was a bit of a backwards step for us but we learnt a good lesson out of it, the way we played the following week,” he said.
“There’s no complacency. We’ve got an opportunity, you don’t get these opportunities every year. It doesn’t mean because we’re in the finals this year we’re going to make it next year.
“We’ve got an opportunity to do the best we can. It’s been a long time and the boys have been waiting a long time. We’ve been working hard, and we want to make sure we’ve got no regrets.”
Arthur also predicted a big game from star five-eighth Corey Norman against his old club.
“The big-time players like to get themselves up for the big games, and it’s a big game,” he said.
“I shouldn’t have to do a great deal today or during the week to motivate our boys to play.”