By Chris Kennedy (NRL.com)
Despite being at the centre of two close calls where his side was somewhat unlucky to be denied tries, winger Dylan Farrell says the Dragons needed to be better at taking their opportunities in a narrow 16-12 loss to a spirited Eels side on Saturday night.
Farrell – yet to notch a try or try assist in his 10 games this year – was denied one of each by the officials.
First it was ruled Tyson Frizell had obstructed Eels half Chris Sandow in the 12th minute in the lead-up to Farrell crossing from a Benji Marshall cut-out pass.
Later, a bat-back from Farrell from a Marshall kick to Euan Aitken was also turned down when it was ruled his touch travelled forward.
While coach Paul McGregor said after the game he thought each had been a fair try, Farrell was reluctant to blame the officials.
"Yeah, obviously that's their job to do, I can't really comment on it. It would have been really nice to have that, it would have been a good finish," he said of the bat-back.
"There were a few opportunities that we just didn't take and at this level you just can't do that but I thought the Parramatta Eels really stood up tonight so full credit to those guys."
Farrell also missed out on attacking chances late in the game when passes from Marshall and Gareth Widdop went in to touch on Farrell's edge as the side pressed for an equaliser when down by four points late in the game.
The Eels held firm as the Dragons threw plenty at them and Farrell praised the opposition's resolve under pressure.
"They played awesome, there were times in the game I thought the momentum swung both ways. The opportunities were there, we didn't take them and we should learn from that."
The Dragons remain in the top four for now but the loss is their third on the trot, having not even lost so much as two in a row since Rounds 1 and 2, which Farrell admitted is "not ideal".
"We've been going pretty good so far but we can never get too comfortable. We'll go back to the drawing board this week. It's never good to have losses in a row and hopefully we can improve on that," he said.
Of his own form – he has been in and out of the top grade side, playing the opening nine games at centre before being dropped, then brought back in the last two games on the wing – Farrell said he had been disappointed not to nail down a first grade spot yet.
"At the start of the year I thought I was going all right but it wasn't to be, we had to change up a few things," he said.
"I'm back in the team now. My main focus is just doing my job and hopefully trying to keep a spot there. We've got great depth at this club and it's really hard to stay in the side."