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Eels gonna kick the Mexican's arses

October 4 2009 at 5:47 AM

Why the Parramatta Eels need to win
by Eels tragic Chris Seage

I confess, Im a Parramatta Eels rugby league tragic. Nothing beats following the greatest football team God has put on this earth.

How tragic? I remember on a balmy February night in the early 80s I was so desperate for a fix of my team I went to watch them at Redfern Oval in a pre-season trial match played in hurricane conditions against South Sydney Rabbitohs. Are you mad? my new bride said as I walked out the door. Wouldnt you prefer to cuddle up and watch a movie? she pleaded.

Twenty nine years later and my hunger for the Eels has not subsided. That they are contesting the grand final against the Melbourne Storm on Sunday is in itself a miracle. After losing nine of their 16 games up to round 18 they were struggling big time.

Their form reversal came in round 19 against the Storm where they upset last years grand finalists 18-16 at Parramatta Stadium. After that they won 10 of their last 11 games to pardon the pun storm into Sundays big game.

Despite living in northern Sydney, I have always followed the boys from out west. I love their blue-and-gold colours and I love the way their supporters get behind their team. Bulldog and St George supporters love their teams but nothing matches the passion generated by an Eels supporter.

The AFL has a dream about moving into Sydneys west. Forget it Andrew. I can tell you that 99% of the kids out there love their rugby league. They call Aussie Rules aerial ping-pong, a term handed down from generation to generation.

Take my own son, Jason. He plays for Parramattas under-18 SG Ball representative team. Despite living far away in the bushland shire of Hornsby, he travels to school out west and now plays football for his favourite team (something else that was handed down through the generations).

He loves Parramatta and wants to play in the NRL with them one day. Hes done so well they put him on contract for next year. Its not a kings ransom but it will mean a lighter load on my pockets for a while.

The Eels look after their juniors. They provide great coaching and my son loves all the free gear. He leaves on Monday for a weeks football trip to Queensland where they will play the Gold Coast Titans 18s in a trial match. Times have changed. The only footy trip I ever went on was to Wollongong!

So who the hell is this Melbourne Storm mob? Well we know they are owned by News Ltd, which also owns half the NRL. It was reported earlier in the year that the Storm spend $5 million more than they earn. That shortfall is funded by News Ltd.

They have made the past four grand finals and their talent comes far and wide from NSW, Queensland, New Zealand and England.

This season their under 18s contested the national under-18 competition for the first time and made the grand final. On Sunday their under-20 team will play the Wests Tigers in the grand final of the Toyota Cup, the curtain-raiser to the big game.

Both these teams are chock-a-block full of contracted talent from outside Victoria. Everyone in Sydney is asking how the hell do they stay under the salary cap? Melbourne chief executive Brian Waldron deflected any such concerns earlier in the year when he said: Others can speculate but we know where we are at with the salary cap.

I was also embarrassed as a rugby league supporter last week when the Storm could only muster 27,687 fans to the second most important game on the NRL calendar where they hosted the Brisbane Broncos at Etihad Stadium for a final.

Compare that to the 74,549 that attended the other final between the Eels and Bulldogs at Sydneys ANZ Stadium. Promoted as the battle of the west it had everything that makes rugby league great passion, tribalism and loyalty.

From my point of view it is important that Parramatta win on Sunday. It will be a victory for the rugby league heartland and tribalism over the corporate dollar.

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Re: Eels gonna kick the Mexican's arses

October 4 2009, 5:52 AM 

Seven months, 26 rounds of Rugby League, and come Sunday evening it all comes down to to eighty minutes of football in front of a Sold Out ANZ Stadium crowd at the Homebush Olympic District in Sydney to see who will be crowned the 2009 National Rugby League Premiers.

The Parramatta Eels, who were written off by round 12 of the 26 round competition when they were just three points off the bottom the table, have been the in-form team of the competition in the later part of the season and have become the first team under the controversial McIntyre Finals System to reach the Grand Final.

After beating the minor premiers, the St George Illawarra Dragons, 25-12 in the opening week of the 2009 Finals Series images of the New Zealand Warriors feat in 2008 came to the minds of Rugby League fans. The Parramatta Eels went on to beat the third placed finishing Gold Coast Titans 27-2, and the second placed finishing Bulldogs 22-12 to book their position in the deciding match of the season.

With star full-back and Dally M Medal winner Jarryd Hayne leading the way looking somewhat untouchable throughout the backend of the season, most will say he has single-handedly seen the Parramatta Eels secure their position in the 2009 Grand Final, however coach Daniel Anderson is quick to point out that Hayne was supported the whole time by the team, whether it was a pass to put him in the open, or backing him up after making a break.

Nathan Hindmarsh has made a remarkable 1055 tackles for the 2009 Telstra Premiership season, and has been on the front foot for the Eels throughout the entire season, by his side inspirational skipper Nathan Cayless leading by example making sure their somewhat younger forward pack do their job and continue to push forward and make the metres required for the backs to play their game.

Jarryd Hayne has been the benchmark of the team there is no denying it, however without the likes of youngster Daniel Mortimer playing his first season in first grade and Luke Burt, Krisnan Inu and the remainder of the backline Hayne may not have found himself in the positions he has been in when earning the player of the year award for his form.

Despite Hayne shown as the Hero week in week out anyone who watches the matches either live at the ground or at home on the television screens will see that while teams are busy shutting down Hayne it helps the Parramatta Eels create an over-lap somewhere on the pitch and the likes of those mentioned above are good at exploiting that over-lap which can trouble their opposition.

For the Melbourne Storm, Grand Finals week is nothing new for the squad as they enter their fourth straight decider three times they have entered the match as Minor Premiers however this year they have had to work harder to earn their position but were helped in week one of the Finals series with both the Dragons and Gold Coast Titans losing meaning the Melbourne based club enjoyed a week off come week two of the finals.

Their Grand Final qualifier match against the Brisbane Broncos looked one sided, and was enough for bookies to set the Storm as favorites to take out the 2009 crown, with their 40-10 victory at Ethihad Stadium last weekend.

However no matter what spin anyone tries to put on it the Melbourne Storm do not have the best record when it comes to Grand Final Deciders, especially in recent times, winning one of their last three appearances in the games showpiece event, and two out of five appearances in the clubs history.

Although one may look at statistics for this season, which clearly favors the Melbourne based side, when it comes down to Grand Finals most open minded rugby league fans will tell you to print them all out look at them and then rip them up into little strips of paper as when it comes the last game of football for the season they mean nothing.

Both clubs have nothing to lose, there is no second chance, and both will be celebrating mad monday just hours after the full time siren is sounded. Both coaches have been here before and know what to expect and how to prepare for the biggest game on the calendar.

The big matchups will see Billy Slater try to hold onto his number one Kangaroos jumper face off against the Dally M Player of the Year Jarryd Hayne, both fullbacks are in brilliant form and are dangerous around the ruck, and in open space.

The pair can devestate their opposition from kick-returns, and can both create something from nothing if the defence does not shut them down quickley.

The halves will also play an important part in the decider with Brett Finch, a former Parramatta Eels player, facing off against Daniel Mortimer his former under-study at the Western Sydney based club. Both players have the result of the match resting on their shoulders if they bring their A game they can half the defence baffled and the attack eating out of the palm of their hands.

Parramatta Eels: 1 Jarryd Hayne, 2 Luke Burt, 3 Krisnan Inu, 4 Joel Reddy, 5 Eric Grothe, 6 Daniel Mortimer, 7 Jeff Robson, 8 Nathan Cayless [c], 9 Matthew Keating, 10 Fuifui Moimoi, 11 Nathan Hindmarsh, 12 Ben Smith, 13 Todd Lowrie. Subs: 14 Kevin Kingston, 15 Feleti Mateo, 17 Tim Mannah, 19 Joe Galuvao. Coach: Daniel Anderson.

Melbourne Storm: 1. Billy Slater, 2 Steve Turner, 3 Will Chambers, 4 Greg Inglis, 5 Dane Nielsen, 6 Brett Finch, 7 Cooper Cronk, 8 Aiden Tolman, 9 Cam Smith [c], 10 Brett White, 11 Adam Blair, 12 Ryan Hoffman, 13 Dallas Johnson. Subs: 14 Ryan Hinchcliffe, 15 Jeff Lima, 16 Ryan Tandy, 17 Scott Anderson, 18 Wairangi Koopu (one to be omitted). Coach: Craig Bellamy.

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Re: Eels gonna kick the Mexican's arses

October 4 2009, 6:22 AM 

Yeah - go the Eeels!

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Re: Eels gonna kick the Mexican's arses

October 4 2009, 8:27 PM 

sori olo maleu.......... better luck next season
storm to stormy for eels


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mi lap

Re: Eels gonna kick the Mexican's arses

October 5 2009, 10:27 AM 

So what happened?

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Re: Eels gonna kick the Mexican's arses

October 5 2009, 11:32 AM 

He, he, he. Storms sopim hul blu maleo.

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