With two spectacular tries in their round-19 win over the Warriors, the Eels have stamped themselves as one of the NRL's top long-range attackers alongside premiers Sydney Roosters.
The third-placed Roosters and sixth-placed Eels and are the second- and third-best attacking teams this year, respectively, and lead the Telstra Premiership for four-pointers resulting from play-the-balls within their own half*.
The Roosters have scored nine tries this year from inside their own half while the Eels have eight. The Storm also have eight, but as the best attacking team in the NRL have far more tries from inside 50 than the Eels and hence a lower percentage of long-range tries.
Moving the line by 10 metres and considering anything from more than 40 metres out as a 'long range' try to provide a bigger sample size, the Roosters have a stunning 21% of all their tries coming from distance.
The Eels are next with 10 of 46 (or just under 18%) of tries coming from more than 40 metres out, with Manly a fraction behind (nine of 42, 17.6%).
Despite scoring a mountain of tries from short range, the Storm have the fourth-highest ratio of long-range tries.
At the lower end of the scale, the Warriors and Broncos are the two sides that have a healthy number of overall tries with very few coming from outside their opponent's red zone. The struggling Titans and Bulldogs have zero and two long-range tries respectively.
One of the key traits shared by the Roosters and Eels, and to an extent other sides with a higher ratio of long-range tries such as Melbourne and Manly, is the confidence to move the ball from within their own half.
As the attached video shows, the Roosters (through players Luke Keary, Latrell Mitchell and James Tedesco) and Eels (via Mitch Moses, Blake Ferguson, Clint Gutherson and co.) in particular are happy to spread the ball from their own end if they see an opportunity and plenty of times they get the reward.
*This analysis only includes tries which follow an attacking team play-the-ball – so any tries directly from scrums, penalties, intercepts or defensive team errors are not included.