New stadium era begins with a bang as Eels trounce Tigers

Parramatta Eels halfback Mitch Moses

Playing in their newly built Bankwest Stadium for the first time, the match between the Parramatta Eels and the Wests Tigers was billed as the battle of the West.

That battle saw the teams trying to fire each other up or rattle them, based on pre-game comments.

It would be the Eels, however, desperate to turn Bankwest into a fortune, that blew the Tigers off the park.

In a 51-6 demolition, the Eels were controlled, composed and dominated all game to keep the Tigers largely at bay.

In a fitting moment for the Eels, they would score the first points.

After patiently waiting a kick go dead from the Tigers, Clint Gutherson pounced on the ball and raced towards the 20m line.

A seven tackle set loomed but the Eels needed just one. Gutherson took the line on at speed and found half Mitch Moses.

Moses did the rest. His pace was enough to outgun several defenders and he scored on the right to give the Eels first points.

This was just the start. Moses was again involved in the Eels second try, this time turning provider.

A perfectly weighted cross-field kick found Brad Takairangi who soared highest and plucked the ball from the air to score.

A quick-fire double to Michael Jennings; one good lead-up play from Gutherson, the other, he scooped up a pass, bounced around defenders and scored.

The scoring did not end there in the first half, though.

Back-rower Shaun Lane who has provided an incredible dynamism and structure to the Eels left edge attack, set the play up.

Surprising the Tigers defence with his nimble feet and acceleration, he broke through, finding Jaeman Salmon to score.

There was the faintest glimmer of hope for the Wests Tigers as they scored close to half-time.

What seemed like a soft Luke Brooks grubber, trickled its way past Eels defenders and Ben Matulino scored his first club try under the posts.

That would be all she wrote for the Tigers, though, as the Eels quickly regained momentum and ascendancy.

A barnstorming Oregon Kaufusi powered over off a Moses short ball soon after the break.

The young guns could not stop scoring as Reed Mahoney picked up the crumbs from a bomb to dart away to score.

Not content with 40 points, the Eels marched their way towards 50 points.

A Gutherson cut-out pass found Maika Sivo, who cut back inside and sliced over the line for a try.

The half century came soon after when Lane was rewarded with a try of his own.

A deft pass from Salmon saw the tall forward waltz over easily to score.

The icing on the cake came in the form of a field goal from Moses, capping off a stellar individual game and a great start for the Eels at their new home.

Always believing in his side, Eels coach Brad Arthur admits he did not expect such a huge scoreline in favour of his side.

“I was pretty nervous to tell you the truth – I wasn’t much fun at home today,” he laughed.

“We haven’t made a habit of performing on the big stage and there was a lot of press around that game.

“The way it started wasn’t that great either losing Daniel [Alvaro to concussion in the first minute] but we stuck to our guns and hopefully it’s a step forward for us.”

Michael Maguire was honest with his assessment of his side. They were bad and need to be much better.

“Plain and simple they outplayed us today – we need to look at why and what,” Maguire said.

“That’s what defence is all about, how you turn up together and how you connect and we didn’t do that.

“We just didn’t turn up and put our shoulders in and we’re all accountable for that.”

NRL News Player of the Game

3. Mitch Moses

2. Shaun Lane

  1. Tim Mannah

 

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