SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - SEPTEMBER 15: Maika Sivo of the Eels celebrates victory at the end of the NRL Elimination Final match between the Parramatta Eels and the Brisbane Broncos at Bankwest Stadium on September 15, 2019 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Matt King/Getty Images)

The Parramatta Eels underwent a complete turnaround from their 2018 wooden spoon season to finishing a respectable 5th in 2019.

One of the keys to the Eels success last season was evidently through their team’s attack.

The Eels finished the regular season having scored 533 points sitting third, only behind the Melbourne Storm and the Sydney Roosters.

This statistic was bolstered through the work of the NRL’s 2019 top try scorer in Maika Sivo, while counterparts Blake Ferguson and Michael Jennings also finished inside the top 30.

Halfback Mitchell Moses also emulated the team’s performance, having his best season throughout his six-year career.

Moses led the competition in try assists (25) and was able to take home the Dally M Halfback of the Year award edging out rivals Daly Cherry-Evans and Chad Townsend.

Parramatta’s 2019 first choice hooker, Reed Mahony was also effective as he topped the league in tackles made and was recently apart of the Maroons 2020 squad.

Both Dylan Brown and Clinton Gutherson had respectable seasons and are looking to build in 2020 with the help of Andrew Johns being added to the Parramatta coaching staff.

Of the NRL’s sixteen teams, fifteen of them are all predicted to have a changed spine from their 2019 season with the Eels being the only team to go unchanged.

Parramatta’s forward pack of Nathan brown, Shaun Lane, Junior Paulo and Kane Evans all played effective parts to their team’s ability to monster the opposition through the middle of the field.

They’ve now added extra weapons to their already durable forward pack in Ryan Matterson (Tigers) and Reagan Campbell-Gillard (Panthers) who are both looking for team success.

The 2019 season also saw the Parramatta faithful rewarded with a fortress in what is Bankwest Stadium, where the Eels were victorious in eight out of ten matches.

But heading into the 2020 season, many queries surrounding the Eels still remain.

The extension given to Head Coach Brad Arthur saw some fans question the move as through his seven-year career he’s taken home two wooden spoons along with regular-season finishes of 14th, 12th and 10th and has managed to only have one finals series win to his name.

2020 will also see the Eels ‘Home’ Stadium being shared with the likes of the South Sydney Rabbitohs, Wests Tigers and the Canterbury Bulldogs.

Closing the gap on the NRL’s true competitors will also remain a problem as when faced with top eight teams, the Eels only found themselves winners in five out of 11 games.

Through the Eels four regular-season matches against the Roosters, Raiders (2) and the Storm, their points differential was a substantial negative 81.

Winning by six points second time around against the Raiders in round 15, Parramatta only went on to play the Storm again in the finals seeing them go down 32-0.

History is also against Parramatta as we saw the Eels plummet from a 4th place 2017 season, to a bottom of the pile last place in 2018.

Although the Eels 2019 season was viewed as a successful one, there are still some areas where they need to improve in order for them to go one better in 2020.

This current Eels squad is arguably their most complete squad since the early 2000s with the depth and talent to be an effective team.

There are many positives to this Eels team, but they’re matched with some hefty negatives.

I have the Eels comfortably finishing amongst the top six but ultimately going down in the first few weeks of the finals.

21 COMMENTS

  1. I have us finishing top 3 but not winning it this year.
    I believe 2021 or 2022 will be our year.
    I also don’t believe the usual suspects will win it this year.
    The loss of Mitchell and Cronk will hurt the Roosters big time and the captain’s challenge could be enough for the Storm to miss the 8 all together 😁

  2. I don’t have the Eels finishing top 3 and I don’t have them winning the comp anytime in the next few years.

    I’m a believer in the Eels to get some very good wins and to occasionally play like they could win a comp. I do not believe they will ever sustain it. I have seen very little evidence that says they can mature into the type of team that wins comps (the type of team that grinds it out sometimes or finds a way).

  3. It’s not complicated at all just look at their defence week in week out n it’s sub standard but yet BA has stuck with the same defensive coach this year. If their defence fails or inconsistent, both him n BA should go. BA should read about Einsteins theory regarding Insanity which is repeating the same experiment over n over in the hope of achieving a different result. Sadly there’s an extremely high chance of their defence delivering the same. I hope I’m wrong but I doubt it

  4. At least we didn’t have to become a soulless merged entity to survive LidcombeOval.
    Parra might finish at the top or at the bottom. It’s a mystery.
    No mystery with the Lidcombe kittens.
    They will finish near the bottom.
    Watch for Stefano to have a good year with Parra and then try to backflip when he realises the terrible mistake he made joining your rabble.

  5. Parra are Soufths arch rivals at transit.loungeism.
    With the many many recent import purchasee’s of late I think they needed a good Experienced 5/8 And a good centre for old slow motion man Jennings. Wighton and Scott were Parra’s missing links.

    Looks to me Kev that your Rusty BBQ plate will remain a rusty BBQ plate for another decade.

  6. Adamhoward February 13, 2020 at 4:36 pm
    “Parra are Soufths arch rivals”
    Agree, Injuries aside Souths v Parra for the GF and Souths to secure premiership no 22.
    Sombreros back to 13 after stripped of 2 premierships by mid season and more players looking for release like Latrell to escape the toxic culture.

  7. Kenno, if you have to ask, then you don’t know any long term (which is most of us) Parra supporters.
    Up until Dec 31 I was copping wth the hype surrounding Parra, because it still fitted the “but next year” thematic, but I’ve been less comfortable since.
    In all honesty it’s hard to argue with waynethepayne’s commemt, but I’m hoping we’re ready to get past that too.
    I think we’ve got a seriously promising side, and a stable club environment, so it’s definitely looking a lot more promising than it has for some time.

  8. Kev, with addition of RCG and Matto, Parra WILL win the comp this year.
    Adam Howard ….Jennings still has speed to burn, I would have him back with our mob in a heartbeat.
    Parra’s GF opponents?…..as much as it pains me to say it….I reckon Canberra will get there again with new Brit halfback organising.
    Having said all that ….Go the mighty Chookies in 2020.

  9. parramatta defence needs to improve out of sight for them to be a chance, they have recruited well in the off season, they have some very good young players coming thru, there’s a guy called samual Hughes who is probably one of best forwards ive seen in a long time, watch out for Utoikamanu this year he’s a beast. If parramatta can defend there try line better this year, they will come very close. They can score plenty of points, they have probably the best roster on paper it’s up to the players to deliver.

  10. I think Matterson was a very good pick up for Parramatta, as a player. Although, you wouldn’t call him the most honest , trustworthy of characters. Signs a contract & can’t see it out, as they’re not paying me enough.
    Not sure what to expect from RCG? Was a good forward some years ago. Has gone from one serious injury to another. Two broken jaws & a broken back. Has more recently wanted to back into the opposition. Due to the broken jaws . I wonder why so many on here regard him so highly? Can he get back to playing well again?
    Parramatta has every position covered? If Mahony gets a serious injury? They have a rookie ,Davies to cover him.
    If Moses gets a serious injury, who covers his position & it leaves them with almost a rookie at 5/8th & an inexperienced half. They didn’t look too good last time Moses was out.
    We will see where they go?

  11. I think with RCG it is more of a hope that a new environment reinvigorates him EOD. He was clearly knocked around by his broken jaws and it affected his game, but maybe he is ready to turn the corner? I have seen him around a bit the past few weeks as he still lives in Penrith. He looks in good shape and looks happy. Who knows how he will go, but I can only hope he gets back close to the form he showed when he played SOO.

    As for the comments on if players go down. That is the case with all clubs. When key players spend extended time on the sidelines, the team struggles. If Cleary gets injured, it is the same for the Panthers as Moses for the Eels. Same for the Roosters with Keary, Rabbits with Reynolds, Storm with Munster….. When looking at a team’s chances on paper, all you can really do is base it around their best team being on the park. Given that, Parra should be in the top 4.

  12. Eels47,
    Many clubs have experienced back up hookers, who even share the first grade games each week. It is a vital role.
    Penrith’s more in the running for a last place, than a first place in 2020. According to all the experts & people on here. So no need to mention them as an example. Although there’s no pressure on them & the experts were so good last year! Having said that. Penrith have a good, experienced back coming back in May. He’s played most backline positions , including halves. Then they have Burton, Laurie & Dean Blore. With Luai original position being halfback. So they may be better served than your eels with halves.
    They have a semi experienced hooker as a reserve , when he comes back from injury in Mitch Kenny , plus Sonny Luke,
    RCG is listed in everyone’s first grade starting line up at Parramatta. So he needs to play well or it will be off to Wentworthville with him. Wouldn’t you think?

  13. There you go eels47.
    What have I always said about the pathetic refereeing that the Panthers always have to endure. The decision in the nines yesterday, goes with the penalty counts in the last two years of regular season games . As well as the dodgiest decisions in general that they cop regularly. St.George make the final of the nines yesterday. What a load of crap.

  14. The Pink Penrifth outfit need to stop giving away dumb penalties and learn some discipline.

    But the most fun about this weekends dud event where a group of four teams only play two teams was Soufths and twin sister Penrifths choking.

    Ahahahaha haha
    Ahahahaha look at this sore loser ClownOfPinkPenrith…ahahahaha
    Just typical of a PunkPinkChock allsorts Soldier.

    They did a South Rabbit and choked trying to win the only chance of winning any trophy this decade and three quarters, by playing a near best first grade squad. Ahahahahaha And still choked ahaha

  15. It can only be a choke (as you say) in any game, if you actually lose. As they didn’t actually have a winning try scored against them, all you have left is the usual biased refereeing.
    Or if it was your Nuggets who conceded an obviously non try . Would you be fine with that?
    By the way , not sure he even scored one of the earlier tries? It looked like he bounced it.
    So good on the Cowboys. It would have been an even bigger travesty, had St.George won it. As they didn’t even win the quarter final.
    Not saying that Penrith could have even beaten Parramatta to make the final? So Parramatta may also feel robbed, that they even had to play St.George.

  16. By the way AdamWoodTurned. ,
    Do you applaud poor , sub standard refereeing ? I guess you would. As that type of refereeing often favours your Nuggets. Let’s hope St.Helens scores a few similar ‘tries’? That many similar non tries are scored against your club during the coming season.
    I won’t applaud it ,if that does happen. It’s still sub standard. I’ll just wait to see what you dish up on here .

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