Priding themselves on resolute defence, it was again on show for the Parramatta Eels as their defence dominated the Canberra Raiders attack. Giving them no space or room to move, it was suffocated and was a catalyst for the Eels win.
It was all guns blazing to start, as the Eels burst out of the blocks and had a healthy lead at the break.
From there, defence was the hero as they kept out the majority of the attacking raids from the Raiders.
The 36-6 Eels win is an indication of just how good their defence is when it is all on song.
The Raiders gave it their all but could not crack it.
The first half is where the bulk of the action happened, as the Eels fell off the pace a bit in the second half.
Post-game, Raiders coach Ricky Stuart was asked what he thought of the jeers he received from a vocal Parramatta crowd.
“There’s nothing wrong with that, it’s a bit of fun, it’s banter,” Stuart said, laughing it off.
“I just really appreciate the fact they’re still thinking of me!”
Defence was a key emphasis for the Eels in the off season and coach Brad Arthur is excited to see it paying off.
“It was seven minutes that we spent defending our try-line so credit to the boys there that they kept turning up for each other,” Arthur said.
“There’s a bit of confidence about our try-line defence at the moment but just because we’re confident doesn’t mean we need to spend plenty of time there.”
Defence often leads to attack and with one not firing, the other suffered. Something coach Stuart is well aware of.
“We had some silly errors that just cost us but as I said we were off and we’re a better football team than that,” he said.
“We know we’ve got points in us. We executed poorly through our attack today and I think it was all a consequence of our execution in defence, that’s where it all stemmed from.”
Player of the Game:
3. Corey Norman
2. Kieran Foran
1. Jordan Rapana
Parramatta Eels 36Â (Jennings 2, Foran, Scott, Edwards, Takairangi tries, Gordon 6 goals) defCanberra Raiders 6Â (Austin try, Croker goal) at Pirtek Stadium. Half-time: Parramatta 24-0. Crowd: 12,947. On report: Fensom.