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Eels to go out swinging to end NRL season

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 23/07/2016 Laine Clark

The knockout blow might have finally been delivered to their NRL season but Parramatta have vowed to go out swinging in 2016.

But first they will need to pick themselves off the canvas - again.

There seemed to be little fight left in the Eels after their slim finals' hopes were officially killed off by Saturday's 34-14 loss to Gold Coast.

Eels players acknowledged their fate by dropping their heads after the six-tries-to-three loss at cbus Super Stadium.

However, Parramatta coach Brad Arthur said there was still plenty to gain from their nightmare season.

"Our season may be over but we have standards and expectations - that is all we can judge ourselves on," he said.

"We have to ask ourselves at the end of the year 'did we maintain those standards or take the easy option?'."

The Eels had held onto hope that wins in their remaining seven matches would keep them in the finals mix.

They had to cling to something.

In a year lurching from controversy to controversy for Parramatta, Eels fans would still have been disheartened by the events of the past week.

Wayward five-eighth Corey Norman watched from the Gold Coast sidelines after being suspended for eight weeks and fined $20,000 for a string of off-field incidents, including a conviction for drug possession.

Parramatta were also taken over by a NSW government-appointed administrator on Tuesday in the wake of their salary-cap scandals which resulted in a $1 million fine and the loss of 12 competition points.

Their luck didn't change on Saturday.

Captain Beau Scott (ankle) was cut before the match while hooker Isaac De Gois (suspected knee) limped off in the 64th minute as Parramatta slid to third last on 12 points.

"We've got probably three quarters of the salary cap sitting on the sidelines," Arthur said of their long list of unavailable players including playmaker Kieran Foran.

"We will just add them (De Gois, Scott) to the list.

"We will find some (back-up).

"If anything, I would rather them (injuries) this year than next year."

Eels stand-in skipper Tim Mannah said it was pretty easy to ignore their off-field dramas.

"This is a resilient, tough group," he said.

"The attitude we have makes it a lot easier to deal with situations that look pretty messy from the outside.

"I think we will be better for it once we come through it."

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