Anybody who stayed with the telecast and watched the Eels allow a second half scoreline of 40-0 is someone who likes to feel pain.
An ardent Parra supporter sent me the following transcript of a ‘Daily Telegraph’ interview with Steve Kearney – Parramatta’s coach.
PARRAMATTA coach Steve Kearney has angrily refused to expand on the problems affecting his star recruit Chris Sandow and the team that now sits stranded at the bottom of the NRL ladder.
The Daily Telegraph’s PAUL CRAWLEY approached Kearney for a warts-and-all interview to try to get to the bottom of what’s going wrong with the Eels in 2012.
The Eels have only won one game all season – with a total of 7 wins from 32 matches (21.9 per cent) since Steve Kearney took over at the beginning of last season.
It’s the worst record for a Parramatta coach since Ron Lynch guided the Eels to a wooden spoon in 1970.
PC: Can you explain why Chris Sandow has been named on the bench?
SK: Well, because he went OK for Wenty last week and the idea was to get some footy into him last week so that’s why I named him on the bench.
PC: What did you hope to get out of dropping him? You said he needed to go back and get his confidence, did he get his confidence back?
SK: You’ll have to ask him, Paul. Like I said, I don’t want to get into this discussion, I’m not going to talk about Chris today. I just want to focus on what’s important for us this week. I’m happy to talk once the bye week comes around (in two weeks’ time).
PC: But people want to know what the problem is with his confidence?
SK: Again, I am working through that myself so if I had the magic answer for you I’d let you know but I’m not going to sit here and talk about my player whether he’s got this problem or this problem. I’m, not going to do that.
PC: Well, you obviously are satisfied that he’s answered your questions because you’ve picked him?
PC: Did you see those quotes in the paper today from Jarryd Hayne?
SK: No I didn’t.
PC: Can I tell you what he said?
SK: Like I said, I’m just trying to get the side up and make us competitive for Friday night.
PC: Nathan Hindmarsh on the weekend, I looked at his stats, I think he played for 42 minutes. Is Nathan a 42 minute player Steve?
SK: I’m not going to sit here and explain my tactics … you know … why should I do that?
PC: I guess it’s part of the job?
SK: Fair dinkum.
PC: Well, what do you want me to write about when it comes to Parramatta?
SK: You can write what you want but I’m not going to sit here and go through every little detail … mate, you know … geez, Georgie Rose had seven weeks in NSW Cup.
PC: But in fairness, Georgie Rose isn’t the marquee buy for a team sitting last on the ladder.
SK: Well, again. I don’t know what you want me to say. Like, I said I’m just trying to do the best job I can.
PC: You confident that things are going in the right direction?
SK: We are trying.
PC: It’s obviously a tough time at the moment?
SK: It’s tough for the whole club.
PC: Is the pressure affecting the players?
SK: I have no idea.
PC: Because I read those comments from Jarryd Hayne today and it makes you wonder if he’s on the same page as you?
SK: I didn’t read the comments Paul so again my focus is on getting the team ready for Friday night.
PC: Well, that’s the reason I ask the question – because he was talking about the last 15 minutes of that game (against the Wests Tigers) and he said: ‘We weren’t worried about dropping the ball, we just weren’t worried. It was like the fear left us. That’s what we can do when we play like that, that’s the way we need to play. Whether or not we play like that, it’s up to the coach.’ That’s what he said.
PC: You’re not going into it, are you?
SK: No, I’m not … like I said, with all these issues at the moment, we have three days to prepare for a game against a red-hot Bulldogs side, this is the last thing we want to be talking about.
PC: But are you confident (Sandow’s) confidence is back?
SK: Well, again we will see on Friday
Well Friday came and what was different – a 46-12 loss after leading 12-6 at half-time.
There is another team going through what Parramatta is enduring without the public focus. The Panthers with a new coach and Phil Gould as a mentor are a major disappointment this season. Both these clubs would struggle to win Reserve grade games against the better sides. Their fans have every right to demand answers and what is being served up on the field and by the Coach is far short of that measure.