It is still early days but the Parramatta Eels proved their attack can click with a comprehensive 44-6 win over the Gold Coast Titans.
Led by halves Mitch Moses and Dylan Brown, it was a second half blitz in particular that produced the big win.
The Eels start to the game was impressive as they came into the clash focused and determined to prove a point.
The first try came soon after when Nathan Brown took the line on and passed to back-rower Ryan Matterson.
Matterson powered forward, offloaded and found Moses, who showed impressive speed to outpace Titans fullback Philip Sami to score.
On the back of a penalty, the Eels scored a quickfire double; this time Reed Mahoney dove over from close range to score.
Up 12-0 and seemingly flying, the Eels appeared to have taken their foot off the accelerator.
The Titans would eventually score through Dale Copley, but he was forced to leave the field after copping some knees from Brown.
Copley’s departure, an expected rib injury, compounded the Titans injury woes for 2020.
Captain Kevin Proctor tweaked a hamstring in the warm up and so did not play.
Moses added a penalty goal and the Eels went into half-time leading 14-6.
As doggedly as the Titans defended, many believed it was a matter of time before the floodgates opened.
Dylan Brown started the onslaught, stepping and weaving his way over, with a crafty solo effort close to the line.
Kane Evans then scored a rare meat-pie, barging his way over and planting the ball down with authority.
A lovely shortside play produced the Eels next points, as an in and away by Michael Jennings saw winger Maika Sivo to score.
Evans would then turn provider as a simple pass for fellow prop Peni Terepo saw the Tongan hit the gap at speed to score a simple try.
Dylan Brown’s double capped off an impressive win; another evasive effort by the talented Eels halfback.
Eels coach Brad Arthur praised his side’s discipline and composure in executing the game plan.
“We played really disciplined and stuck to what we thought would work for us and our plan,” Arthur said.
“I was impressed we managed not to get over-excited and just to stick to what we thought would work for us.
“We had a plan and we wanted to stick to it. We want to persist with it.
“It doesn’t always work out like that, we might have to keep fighting to the 80th minute but we need to keep getting better at it.”
Old habits die hard and Titans coach Justin Holbrook knows he has work ahead of him to stop what he calls ‘dumb’ individual errors.
“It’s individual concentration on what their job is and sticking to that,” Holbrook said.
“That’s what we need to look at as an individual and then collectively as a team.
“Just talking to a few guys in the staff, we defended our line for 15 minutes in the second half and that could’ve been a real positive.
“But if you get the ball back and drop it straight away you can’t keep doing that.”
NRL News Player of the Game
3. Mitch Moses
2. Dylan Brown
- Junior Paulo