Giant-killers gunning for another slice of history

Parramatta will create even more history should they be able to continue their amazing run in Friday night’s blockbuster against the Bulldogs, becoming just the third team in history to defeat all top three sides in a single finals campaign.<br><br>This amazing feat has not been done since 1993 when the Brisbane Broncos took down the four top sides on their way to the premiership from fifth place – which coincidentally was the last season the minor premiers (Bulldogs) went out the back door with back-to-back losses.<br><br>Having already taken down the top-ranked St George Illawarra and the third-ranked Gold Coast in successive weeks, the Eels now take on the second-ranked Bulldogs for a place in the Grand Final.<br><br>If Melbourne prevail over the Broncos and the Eels win, they – like the ’93 Broncos – will get their chance to beat the top four sides with a premiership win. <br><br>The only other team to take down the top three sides in a single finals campaign were the 1989 Raiders, who came from fourth to take the crown.<br><br>The 1995 Bulldogs hold the record for winning a grand final from the lowest qualifying position, having won the title from sixth spot – another record the Eels could break if they continue their golden few months.<br><br>“The place in history would be another feather in the cap but they are not chickens so they are not after feathers, they are after wins and I’m confident they can do that,” Eels legend Ray Price told nrl.com.<br><br>“It obviously comes down to the performance on the day but the side has shown they can beat the best sides so there is no reason why that can’t continue.”<br><br>Price, who captained the Eels to their last premiership win in 1986, made it clear the entire playing group and the coach deserved the accolades for the stunning finals run, even though Dally M Medal winner Jarryd Hayne was getting most of the plaudits.<br><br>“The side has always had the ability to perform but plenty of credit has to go to the coach who seems to have changed the attitude of the players for the better,” Price says.<br><br>“I love going to watch them play. I haven’t been this excited since I stopped playing in 1986.<br><br>“Both teams who will do battle this weekend deserve plenty of credit actually. The Bulldogs have come from last place last season to be basically minor premiers, or close enough to it and the Eels have fought back from what could have been a wooden spoon to have a shot at a grand final. <br><br>“If the Eels do win they will certainly have earned it. One guy [Hayne] seems to get all the accolades in this team – but he keeps giving the accolades back to the entire squad because he knows it is the team effort that is allowing them to play such exciting football.”<br><br>Raiders legend and now respected league commentator Laurie Daley, a member of the 1989 Raiders who were the first to beat the top three sides in a finals series, says the Eels can certainly join his former side in the annals of history.<br><br>Daley says that while belief is a strong factor in a winning run, talent was a necessity – something the Eels had in bucket-loads.<br><br>“You certainly have to believe in yourselves but you also need the talent because you could be Wentworthville’s A Grade side with plenty of belief but you won’t win an NRL title,” Daley said.<br><br>“In 1989 we [Raiders] certainly had plenty of belief, maybe even some arrogance, because we were confident we could get the job done. <br><br>“We knew we had the firepower and if we played strong we could beat anyone. I see the same belief in the Eels.<br><br>“It was obvious they drew a line in the sand a few weeks back, particularly when you talk defensively, and decided they weren’t going to be a side who conceded soft points and they were going to have a tougher attitude and a hard edge.<br><br>“They have the talent in their squad to keep winning, that is plain to see, and they have shown they can mix it with the best so it is up to them to keep performing.<br><br>“If they can continue the belief it doesn’t matter who they play, where they play or where they have come from on the ladder, they can do the job.” <br><br><b>Teams That Have Beaten The Top 3 In Finals</b><br><br>Canberra, 1989<br>Final Five<br>1. Souths&nbsp;&nbsp; &nbsp;37pts<br>2. Penrith&nbsp;&nbsp; &nbsp;32pts <br>3. Balmain&nbsp;&nbsp; &nbsp;29pts<br>4. Canberra&nbsp;&nbsp; &nbsp;28pts<br>5. Cronulla&nbsp;&nbsp; &nbsp;28pts<br><br>Defeated Cronulla 31-10 <br>Defeated Penrith 27-18 <br>Defeated Souths 32-16 <br>Defeated Balmain 19-14 <br><br>Brisbane, 1993<br>Final Five<br>1. Bulldogs&nbsp;&nbsp; &nbsp;34pts<br>2. St George&nbsp;&nbsp; &nbsp;34pts<br>3. Canberra&nbsp;&nbsp; &nbsp;33pts<br>4. Manly&nbsp;&nbsp; &nbsp;32pts<br>5. Brisbane&nbsp;&nbsp; &nbsp;32pts<br><br>Defeated Manly 36-10 <br>Defeated Canberra 30-12 <br>Defeated Bulldogs 23-16 <br>Defeated St.George 14-6 <br>