Negative second half tactics saw the Eels squander momentum and chance at a comeback in their 22-10 defeat to the Warriors in front of 13,000 fans at Mount Smart Stadium in Auckland.
The Warriors have scored back to back wins for the first time since Round 15 last season after the 12 point victory over a badly out-of-form Parramatta outfit.
The first half was a tale of two quarters in a way, the first 20 minutes was the story of near chances and near misses, but the minute the clock hit 20:00, the points began flowing when Nathan Brown continued his excellent start to the game with a try under the sticks.
The Warriors' opener to Bodene Thompson came off a fair bit of luck with a Kieran Foran kick rebounding off a couple of Parramatta players and Thompson dived in to score - the bunker confirmed it and scores were level. The Warriors then scored again through Simon Mannering when the seas parted for the former captain and he strolled through, and again after bunker confirmation the Warriors had hit the lead. Momentum was well and truly with the Warriors forwards with Bodene Thompson getting a second try in the same spot as his first after his teammates shifted the ball to the right instead of left where both play makers were set up, and a final basketball pass from Blake Ayshford to Thompson left the gap open for the Warriors to score and extend their lead.
A 95% first half completion rate looked a distant memory for the Warriors with errors coming off their opening two sets of six in the second half, and it took just four minutes for the Eels to capitalise on the sloppy start from the Warriors when a magnificent offload from Manu Ma'u saw the visitors go right across the field with a lovely shift of play. Josh Hoffman bagged the four pointer, but despite regaining the momentum, it was the only points the Eels could manage in the second half with two tries ruled no try by both onfield referee Henry Perenara and the bunker, as well as a bizarrely negative tactic by the Eels to put the ball out of play at every opportunity despite being just 6 (then later 12) points behind after the Warriors final try.
The Warriors defence stood tall against some poor at times Eels' attack, and the addition of Kieran Foran for the second week in a row has given the men from over the Tasman a sense of stability - whilst for the Eels, the negative footy seemingly stopped them from even remotely getting back into the game. Arthur will be keen to review their game plan before next Monday.
Next weekend the Warriors have a tough road trip to the Australian Capital Territory where they take on a confident Canberra side at GIO Stadium, while the Eels will look to bounce back with two local derbies at home at ANZ Stadium over the next fortnight with clashes against Wests Tigers on Easter Monday then against the Panthers the following weekend.