You have skipped the navigation, tab for page content
Make no mistake: This Eels side thoroughly deserve their current tag as the NRL's entertainers.

With their six-try, 36-0 thumping of the Dragons at Pirtek Stadium, Parramatta took their season tally to 45 tries and 239 points scored (at an average of just under 24 a game)after 10 rounds of football, both competition benchmarks.

But while Brad Arthur's men are averaging over 10 points more per match than they managed in 2013 and today gave their first sold-out home crowd in more than two years plenty to cheer about, the most pleasing aspect of Saturday's scoreline was the big fat zero in the opposition's column.

Watch the NRL LIVE with a 2-week free trial.
Get the NRL Digital Pass now!

It was Parramatta’s first shut-out since late 2009, when they touched up Cronulla 30-0 on their home turf, which was not-so-coincidently the last time the Eels seriously threatened to break a premiership drought that has run longer than favourite son Peter Sterling's once luscious blonde locks.

The blue and gold defensive wall is still hardly unbreakable, with the Eels ranking well into the bottom half of the competition for points conceded at 22.7 a game, but they have made marked improvement on last year's efforts without the ball, when they let in almost 31 points a match.

Skipper Tim Mannah said his side's newfound defensive resolve had formed the basis for the club's most promising run of performances in half a decade.

"Today the biggest difference compared to the past was probably our confidence in defence," Mannah said.

"Just having real confidence in the player next to you and the structures we have in our defence gives us an ability to chance our arm in attack.

"If things don't come off you've got a bit of confidence that the defence can hold them out.

"There was a good feeling out there knowing that everyone was turning up and working hard for each other."

In front of a vocal 18,631 Parramatta faithful, the Eels broke through for their sixth win of the year, already surpassing the five victories they recorded last season on their way to a second wooden spoon in as many campaigns.

Despite the 6-4 start that will see the Eels enter the representative period inside the Top 4, coach Arthur was reluctant to shed light on his side's objectives for the year and whether these had changed given their impressive opening to the season.

"We haven't talked about goals or where we want to get to," Arthur said.

"Our priority is about getting better on a weekly basis and working hard.

"There were still some things there tonight, I think out of our last eight sets we only completed four so we need to learn to be a little bit more ruthless and put them away."

Clearly beaming in the wake of the record head-to-head win over the Dragons, Arthur was particularly chuffed with the Eels’ effort in backing-up from their 42-24 Monday night win over the Sharks.

"I am happy with our effort on the back of a five-day preparation," said Arthur, as the Eels avoided a repeat of their last short turn-around when they were belted by the Cowboys after their Easter Monday loss to the Tigers in Round 7.

"We went up to North Queensland a couple of weeks ago off a five-day preparation and as staff we didn't get it right, we were a little bit soft [on them], so we toughened up a bit this week with our preparation and we played tough.

"To score 36 points, I am pretty happy with that. It took us a while to find our groove in attack but if we keep turning up for one another like that then we might have a bit more time to find our groove."

Acknowledgement of Country

National Rugby League respects and honours the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.

Premier Partner

Media Partners

Major Partners

View All Partners