Parramatta Eels

Souths season continues

The Eels led 18-8 at half time much to the delight of the home crowd before Damien Cook fired up the Rabbitohs with a hand in three tries as they rattled up 30 points in 40 minutes after the break.

Parramatta's week started with first Maika Sivo being lost to injury, then Blake Ferguson being scratched as well, before Michael Jennings was suspended yesterday for failing a drugs test.

A showdown with minor premiers Penrith next Saturday night is their reward, Wayne Bennett once more delivering them to within 80 minutes of another grand final.

Eels too good for Sharks

The Eels are level on points with the Melbourne Storm, just a point behind the table-topping Penrith Panthers, who the Warriors play this Friday.

The Titans earlier beat the North Queensland Cowboys 30-10 on the Gold Coast to now be the top ranked side in the state.

They're up to 13th, just ahead of the Cowboys and the Brisbane Broncos.

 

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Eels bust Broncos as footy returns with a bang

The showdown kicked off 67 days after the enforced COVID-19 shutdown of the NRL as one of the most anticipated rugby league matches in the 112-year history of the code.

It lived up to the billing, and then some.

On an evening many scoffed would never occur the Eels reaffirmed that they are a serious premiership contender after dominating a brave Broncos in the middle and out wide.

Parramatta Eels continue resurgence with 24-22 win over Wests Tigers

After losing their opening six games of the season, the Eels have recorded back- to-back wins to breathe life into their flailing campaign.

However the victory was quickly soured by fears second-rower Tony Williams tore his ACL for the second time in a year.               

"I don't think it's real good. He needs to have scan tomorrow, but I've been told that it's ACL," Eels coach Brad Arthur said after the match.              

Raiders put poor Eels to the sword

In tough conditions, the Raiders showed superior game management to capitalise on the errors which plagued the performance of the visitors.

Fullback Clint Gutherson completed a successful return from his ACL injury, but it proved little consolation as Parramatta's losing streak stretched to six games.

For the hosts, the victory was built off excellent scrambling defence and using the conditions to their advantage as a crowd of 12,328 celebrated back-to-back wins.

Tigers too good for struggling Eels

Having failed to score over 10 points in their previous three games, Ivan Cleary's side cut loose in attack to bounce back from their golden-point loss to Brisbane Broncos last time out.

The Eels opened the scoring when Will Smith caught a high kick by Mitchell Moses before diving over, with the successful conversion making it 6-0 to the visitors.

However, inspired by half-back pairing Luke Brooks and Benji Marshall, the Tigers roared back with 20 unanswered points in the remainder of the first half.

Parramatta open to Hayne taking ownership of team

Arthur is one of few coaches to have prospered with colourful personality back at his club.

Hayne has played under eight coaches in his 11-year NRL career.

Arthur began his turnaround of the Eels with Hayne in his team in 2013 and 2014, where the NSW Origin star won the Dally M in his last season before shifting to American Football.

The Eels mentor told Fox League's NRL 360 that the key would again be giving Hayne a voice in the club's premiership charge.

The Stat to Fix: Parramatta Eels must improve post-contact metres

Parramatta's post-contact metres were one of the few areas they fell down statistically in the 2017 Telstra Premiership, with their 471 metres per game after first meeting the defence better than only the lowly Newcastle Knights and Gold Coast Titans.

In a chicken or egg scenario, the Eels also had the slowest attacking play-the-ball speed in the NRL – averaging 3.66 seconds and ranking 16th for getting a roll on when one or two opposition tacklers were involved.

In defence though, Parramatta did concede the second-fewest post-contact metres in 2017 at 468 metres a game.

Tony Williams' last chance with the club he loves

Kid from humble beginnings makes it in the big time. Makes big money. Achieves big things. Everything about the man they dubbed "T-Rex" was big.

"I was young and things were going good," Williams remembers.

"I thought everything was always going to be all right. I was on top of the world."

But like many before him, the fame and fortune began to take its toll. He crumbled under the heavy burden of expectation. And the criticism only grew louder.

"I've got a lot of regrets," Williams told NRL.com as he continues his comeback from an ACL injury.

Norman happy with Hayne homecoming

Speaking from the Eels’ pre-season camp in Alice Springs, Norman backed the club’s decision to sign Hayne and is confident the guidance of coach Brad Arthur will provide the one-time Parramatta poster boy with the ideal environment to rediscover his mojo.

“I got the opportunity to play with him in 2014 and had a great year that year,” Norman told NRL.com after training in the Northern Territory.

“I know he hasn’t had the best 18 months ... but I think he’s coming back here to really get a bit of credibility back. He’s only on a one-year deal and he did take a big pay cut.