Eels’ facing make-or-break NRL run 

Parramatta coach Brad Arthur has no doubt if his NRL team can finish inside the competition’s top four they’ll have earned the right to that lofty position.

The Eels’ grip on fourth spot is in jeopardy after a bruising encounter with Canberra on the Gold Coast on Thursday ended in a 12-10 defeat.

That loss means the Sydney Roosters can close within a game of Parramatta this weekend before both teams face each other next week.

Parramatta coach Brad Arthur has no doubt if his NRL team can finish inside the competition’s top four they’ll have earned the right to that lofty position. Pictured: Eels head coach Arthur looks on during an NRL training session at Kellyville Park on July 13, 2021, in Sydney

After the Roosters clash, Parramatta face four of the top six in their final five fixtures of the home-and-away campaign including back-to-back matches against Melbourne and Penrith in the final two rounds.

It’s a daunting run home that Arthur acknowledges will test how realistic the Eels’ ambitions of a deep finals run in 2021 are.

‘Depending on where we get to, we’re going to have to earn every bit of it,’ Arthur said.

Adding to Arthur’s concern is the fitness of halfback Mitchell Moses.

Having suffered a fracture in his back during his State of Origin debut for NSW last week, Moses has missed the Eels’ past two fixtures.

The 26-year-old could make a return as early as next weekend’s mouth-watering clash with the Roosters but Arthur said there’s still plenty of ground to cover before that decision is made.

‘It might be a week or two, but it’s hard to say,’ Arthur said.

‘It could improve overnight.

‘We’ll just have to wait until next week when he runs and then we’ll see from there.’

The Eels are also sweating on the fitness of interchange forward Marata Niukore, who suffered a meniscus injury in his right knee in the first half of the loss to the Raiders.

Arthur said it was unclear how severe the 24-year-old’s injury was.

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