April 14, 2021

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Eels halves revamp 'didn't work', Sterlo says

2 min read
Parramatta's decision to switch halves Mitchell Moses and Dylan Brown didn't work in Round One,...

Parramatta's decision to switch halves Mitchell Moses and Dylan Brown didn't work in Round One, Peter Sterling says.

Moses switched from the right edge to the left against Brisbane; Brown vice versa. Back-rower Ryan Matterson followed Moses, while Shaun Lane switched alongside Brown.

The Eels had to come from behind to win 24-16 at Suncorp Stadium, with both edges clunky. Hooker Reed Mahoney was the main inspirator of victory, with neither Moses or Brown recording a try assist or line break assist.

"I'm still getting my head around changing Moses and Dylan Brown to the other side of the field, along with Shaun Lane and Ryan Matterson," Sterling said on Wide World of Sports' Sterlo's Wrap.

"It didn't work. Clearly, it's a work in progress.

"I heard [Eels coach] Brad Arthur say over the weekend the change was mainly made to accommodate the kicking game of Dylan Brown – to put him on the right side, which is the better side for the right-foot kicker – and get him more involved.

"Well, it had a negative impact on Mitchell Moses early in this game. Because his kicking leg is closest to the play-the-ball, he needs to step back on the inside and he's off balance.

"While they're trying to look after Dylan Brown, who didn't kick much anyway, I'm not quite sure if it worked out for Mitchell Moses in that area.

"And I know it was first-up but Shaun Lane and Ryan Matterson, they just looked out of whack on that different side.

"Hopefully it will improve, they've worked hard on it all off-season, but it wasn't evident in their first outing."

Parramatta are under heavy scrutiny this season, having lost consecutive finals last season after also exiting in the second week in 2019.

Coach Arthur is contracted until the end of next season but will be under pressure to turn the Eels into legitimate contenders, rather than simply finalists.

Arthur was critical of his team playing too laterally in the first half against Brisbane, not showing the Broncos due respect by setting a platform in the middle of the field.

"We just thought we could pass our way to a [win] rather than working hard," he said.

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