Eels fast track review after season goes from bad to worse

Parramatta chief executive Bernie Gurr says the embattled Eels will expedite a review into their entire football operation after a humiliating defeat to Newcastle continued their forgettable season.

Languishing in last spot and with little more than pride to restore for the rest of the season, the Eels' dwindling playing stocks will be stretched to their limit after Tepai Moeroa was slapped with a grade-three shoulder charge on Knights veteran Chris Heighington on Saturday night.

Charged: Tepai Moeroa is facing at least three weeks on the sideline with suspension to add to the Eels' woes.

Photo: AAP

He faces three weeks on the sideline with an early guilty plea, but five matches if he chooses to fight it and loses at the judiciary.

The navel gazing is well and truly underway at the blue and golds, who were tipped to be a premiership force over summer but will do well to avoid the wooden spoon after a horror year.

Having been accused of lacking adequate support staff for coach Brad Arthur, Eels boss Gurr has hinted the club will bring forward a examination of their football structure in preparation for 2019.


"The reality is when you're 2-8, then it becomes 2-9 and then 2-10 and 2-11 the lens becomes much sharper on all those pieces of your footy program," Gurr said. "When you're 2-11 we do expedite the time we use to review all of those processes.

"Last year when we were 16-8 we were ticking along beautifully, but now we're 2-11 and we've actually added to our footy department.

"We're constantly looking at all parts of the footy program, whether that's the junior elite program, whether that's our recruitment department, whether it's our player roster, whether it's our salary cap, whether it's our coaching and support staff or whether it's our high performance staff."

Arthur, who held the club together through Parramatta's salary cap crisis and took them to within a couple of games of the grand final last year, is understood to have the backing of key personnel at the Eels despite this season spiralling out of control.

He remains under contract until the end of next season.

Asked about the club still lacking a dedicated head of football, Gurr said: "People say you technically don't have a separate head of football, but the reality is I cover it at a very high level.

"We've done some benchmarking against other clubs with the amount of football staff they have and we compare quite favourably numbers wise. It's a bit of misnomer we don't have people dedicated to football because we do.

"It's the belief of the board and our club we will give total support to our footy program. There's nothing they want they don't get."

There was a shred of good news at the end of a disastrous week for the Eels with scans on Mitchell Moses' knee injury revealing the halfback might miss just two weeks after being helped off in the Knights' 30-4 pounding of Parramatta at ANZ Stadium on Saturday night.

Highly-rated Jaeman Salmon, himself only returning from a long-term injury, could be in contention to make his first-grade debut if the Eels seek dispensation from the NRL to include the development list player in their squad to face the Cowboys in Darwin this weekend.

Corey Norman, who was fined $30,000 during the week for drinking while sidelined with a soft tissue injury, is facing a battle to be fit for the North Queensland clash, as is prop Tim Mannah.

Jarryd Hayne is a chance of making his return while Bevan French will need to pass the standard concussion protocols to be on the plane to Darwin.

Will Smith (hamstring) also went down with a complaint against the Knights, adding to long-term absentees Beau Scott and Tony Williams, who are both out for the season with ACL tears.

Adam Pengilly

Adam Pengilly is a Sports reporter for The Sydney Morning Herald.

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