Arthur asks Eels for dogfight to end Bunnies dominance

·2-min read
Dan Himbrechts/AAP PHOTOS

Brad Arthur will urge Parramatta to get into a dogfight with South Sydney as data reveals the true extent of the Eels's woes against the Rabbitohs in the six-again era.

Arthur insisted on Wednesday his team was not yet at the point of desperation, after last Saturday's loss to Canberra left them 14th on the ladder with a 4-7 record.

But they are well aware they must begin winning soon to turn their season around, after a slow start following last season's grand-final defeat.

In table-toppers South Sydney, they come up against their toughest opponent in recent years on Friday night at Allianz Stadium.

Since the start of 2020, Parramatta have lost all six games to Souths by an average margin of 23.67.

That record is by far the Eels's worst against any team during the six-again era, having beaten all other sides at least once.

Souths have out-run the Eels by almost 400 metres per game, broken the line 52 times to 14 and busted through 193 tackles to 114.

Outside backs have also accounted for 23 of the Rabbitohs' 36 tries against them in those matches, with Parramatta routinely beaten on the edges.

"They've had the wood over us for a while," Arthur admitted.

"The facts are there, but we haven't talked about it. We need to have a big focus on ourselves.

"We probably get them at a good time because they're playing really good footy. We need to win. Everyone's written us off. So it's a really good chance for us."

Arthur said it was crucial for his side to not offer up attacking opportunities for the Rabbitohs.

"In the past every time they've touched us up we haven't completed well," Arthur said.

"And we've given them too much ball in the wrong end of the field. They like the footy off set starts at your tryline and they're very good at execution.

"So we've got to try and complete high, tackle well and drag them into a bit of a dogfight."

Arthur also confirmed the Eels were in the market to sign a middle after it emerged the club were pursuing Tigers forward Joe Ofahengaue for a mid-season switch.

Any deal is still some way from being completed, but there remains room on Parramatta's roster for a forward and outside back before the August trade deadline.

"We lost a lot of forwards last year and still probably haven't replaced those guys yet in our roster," Arthur said.

"We're still looking at quite a few forwards to bolster our squad. But we've got to make sure they're the right fit and they might fit now but do they fit for us next year?

"We don't want to rush into anything."