Parramatta players have declared they are ready to put two seasons of abject disappointment behind them and embark upon a new era of success under coach Ricky Stuart.
Eels fans are understandably excited about the wooden spooners’ prospects after their round one 40-10 thrashing of the Warriors in which key players Chris Sandow and Jarryd Hayne starred.
The Eels looked a spirited and enthusiastic side in their first outing under Stuart, in contrast to their flat and uninspired efforts for much of the last two seasons, and Hayne said the club was confident they could build on that in the coming weeks and months.
“We got a bit excited with the post try celebrations but to be able to start the way we did and play the way we are not only happy for the boys but for the fans as well,” Hayne said on Monday.
“I think the way we had ourselves the last couple of years, to get a big win in front of our home crowd was pleasing.
“Everything we have been doing on the training paddock really paid off. To play like that as a team was great but there’s definitely a lot more things we can improve on.”
Hayne scored three tries in the seven-tries-to-two romp to raise hopes of a big season from the NSW fullback and from halfback Sandow who had a strong showing.
Hooker Matt Keating, who provided an effective link between Hayne and Sandow said Parramatta, who finished last in 2012 and third last in 2011 with only six wins each season, have rediscovered their confidence.
“It’s a different sort of vibe coming in on a Monday morning to the way things have been in the last 24 months,” Keating said.
“It’s only early and there is a lot of hard work to be done but it’s good to get some confidence out of that sort of win against the Warriors.
“Before the game we said we wanted the fans to be able to walk away after the game saying we were competitive and saying that we had toughed up and I think that was the case.”