Eels begin Ricky Stuart era in style

mastermind5991 Roar Guru

By mastermind5991, mastermind5991 is a Roar Guru

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    Parramatta have begun the Ricky Stuart era in scintillating fashion, thrashing the New Zealand Warriors 40-10 at Parramatta Stadium tonight.

    The match-up between two of the wooden spoon favourites was never going to be as thrilling as some of the other games of the round, but Parramatta dominated in all aspects in an embarrassingly one-sided contest to show that the hard work they put into their pre-season training under Stuart paid off.

    And the Eels will be relying on two players to mastermind their revival this season. With no Nathan Hindmarsh and Luke Burt, this task could prove to be difficult.

    But the Eels have proven that they can move on without those two club stalwarts, and so they did.

    Chris Sandow finally lived up to his price tag, and the Hayne Plane, which had been grounded for most of last year, was up and flying again.

    The charismatic fullback scored a hat-trick in his first game as co-captain whilst Sandow scored a try and six goals from seven attempts.

    It is this performance from the former Souths halfback which will have him brimming with confidence as the season starts to grow.

    Sandow opened the scoring in the 17th minute, much to the delight of the 13,000 pro-Eels crowd who turned up to their first match of the season.

    Ten minutes later, Jarryd Hayne scored to put the side 12-0 up, and a further try to Matt Ryan saw the side enter the sheds at half-time 18-0 ahead.

    The first moments of the second half were mainly dull, but the Warriors were finally able to get on the board in the 51st minute through Jacob Lillyman.

    Five minutes later and suddenly Parramatta’s lead had been pegged back to 18-10, following a try from new recruit Dane Nielsen. But that would be as close as the Warriors would get, as it would be all Parramatta after that.

    Four tries (two to Ken Sio and another two to Jarryd Hayne) in the last quarter of the match capped off a brilliant victory for the Eels. The final score was 40-10, though it could have been more had Chris Sandow not missed a sideline conversion on the very last attempt.

    It was an impressive start for a team that have struggled in the last three years since making the Grand Final in 2009.

    Since Brian Smith departed the club in 2006 after a decade at the helm, the Eels have appointed five coaches (one caretaker), and neither has lasted more than two seasons.

    Hopefully, Ricky Stuart can be in for the long term.

    And on the basis of this performance, he could finally provide some stability to the coaching and playing department, as Parramatta seek a return to the upper half of the competition.

    However, fans should not get carried away by Parramatta’s win tonight.

    They face the Bulldogs next Thursday night, and they can expect to be met by a hostile pro-Bulldogs crowd who will be wanting their team to go one better this season.

    Also, it’s too early to determine whether they can rediscover their best form this season.

    They won’t play like they did tonight for the rest of the season, as teams try to exploit weaknesses in this new look side. Fans should not get excited just yet.

    As for the Warriors, it’s set to be another long season with the club going through its’ fourth coach in just two seasons.

    The Brian McClennan era was short-lived and he was gone before last season was out. Now with a new coach in Matthew Elliott, things won’t improve in the long term, and they will be lucky just to avoid the wooden spoon this season.

    There’s clearly a lot of work to be done if they are to become a powerhouse club again.

    They face another new-look side next week, in the form of the Sydney Roosters. It’ll be their first home match of the season, and if they don’t win, fans will already start getting impatient.

    I was correct with my prediction of Parramatta winning this evening, giving me 2/3 overall for this round.

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    The Crowd Says (6)

    • Roar Guru

      March 10th 2013 @ 8:57am
      steve b said | March 10th 2013 @ 8:57am | ! Report

      Yes it was great to see EELS fans smiling and chanting yesterday in the destruction of the Warriors and the Hayne plane flying once again Sandow taking on the line was vast improvement on last years efforts, if we can keep these two injury free i am sure we can give any team a run for their money . However its a long season and the test for Parra will be how they fair against the better teams starting with the DOGS . But is sure was great to be smiling again , lets hope they can keep it going ,good one PARRA …

    • March 10th 2013 @ 9:55am
      B.A Sports said | March 10th 2013 @ 9:55am | ! Report

      Still alot of errors in the Eels that they will have to fix but it was the slickest their backline has looked in a long time. Hopefully for them Kelly’s injury won’t be too bad, because Roberts showed he is still not up to it.
      Sandow, despite being about the only Eels player on the field without a (c) next to his name, was barking orders all day long and looked to be enjoying himself (As you do when you win by 30).
      For Eels fans, outside Hayne and Sandow the return of Loko was probably the most exciting thing. Loko adds some real power bringing off the Eels own try line and he has a real beast mode in him. He made Hurrell look like a park footballer on more than one occasion and I can see Sio scoring a few tries this year off of Loko off loads and off of Loko drawing plenty of wingers in.

      As for the crowd of 13,500. I was at the ground, at the back of the Thornett Stand, and I have been to Parra Stadium many times. The Eels need to have a chat with Stadium Trust, because some of the gate/ticketing software mustn’t have been working as there appeared to be many more than 13,500 in the ground.

      • Roar Rookie

        March 10th 2013 @ 10:39am
        Damn Straight said | March 10th 2013 @ 10:39am | ! Report

        Kelly only has a hamstring strain, but they do have a tendency to niggle and hang in there for a while. If it is in the belly of the muscle it will be a quick turnaround, but if it is in a tendon it could take longer, due to the fact that tendons have limited blood supply and therefore take longer to heal.
        I shuddered when I saw Luke Kelly go off injured…my worst fears were realised. Ben Roberts was coming on. Apart from a line break and a couple of other reasonable deeds, he was vintage Ben Roberts, making mistakes and giving away stupid penalties like that uncalled for chicken wing. Get rid of him and free up 200k of the salary cap to spend on some young and freakish talent, or to put in the kitty to lure another marquee at some point after a winning culture has been established.

    • Roar Guru

      March 10th 2013 @ 1:08pm
      Mantis said | March 10th 2013 @ 1:08pm | ! Report

      Good game by Parra, particularly Hayne and Sandow. But the Warriors were absolutely dreadful. I cant remember a worse performance by a NRL team in years. Reserve grade standard…

    • March 10th 2013 @ 11:24pm
      Lippy said | March 10th 2013 @ 11:24pm | ! Report

      The Warriors were truly pathetic yesterday and it will be interesting to see what kind of crowd turns up Saturday at Eden Park.
      Then again most will probably be there for SBWs homecoming

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