We're happy to welcome our new Eels Member blogger - Mary Kaye! Stay tuned for her weekly blogs on Eels matches, players and the NRL.
There was one banner in the crowd in particular that perhaps sums up our performance in Round 1 - the ‘Dawn of A New Era’, and it certainly was!
Huge congratulations are in order to the whole team, the coaching staff and the 14,397 fans which cheered the team on to a convincing 36-16 win over the New Zealand Warriors.
While the whole team is to be commended on their efforts, I thought I would take this opportunity to not only welcome, but to congratulate some of the newest members to the blue and gold family. I was so impressed with the efforts of all our new recruits and debutants.
Corey Norman, Will Hopoate and Nathan Peats are new to the Parramatta Eels and made their debut for the club on Sunday evening. All three had terrific performances.
Nathan Peats will prove to be the buy of the season. His control of the ruck, fearless defence and darts from dummy half will be pivotal to our success.
Corey Norman added creativity and class to the halves and Will 'can't stop a Hoppa' Hopoate showed signs of being back to his explosive best. I am confident that we can only expect even more from these three men as they find their feet at our club.
I must make special mention of the man that kept the crowd on their feet - Semi Radradra, who has now been nicknamed the Semi-trailer. Quick on his feet, quick with his hands and explosive - he scored a hat trick. Semi and Vai Toutai were the first Eels wingers to score a hat trick of tries since the second round of 1947.
However, the real feel-good story to come out of Sunday evening was the performance by Manu Ma'u. For those of you unfamiliar with his story, Manu spent three years in a New Zealand prison after a conviction for an offence in 2007. Following negotiations by the Eels with the Australian Department of Immigration, he obtained a visa to relocate to Sydney and made his debut for Parramatta on Sunday.
His performance on Sunday was epic - making a whopping 190 metres and causing problems for the Warriors all over the field. His mum apparently cried before the game however the Eels supporters were definitely crying tears of joy after the game.
I'm proud to be a Parramatta supporter for the faith we have shown in this young man and the opportunity we have given him. I was also delighted to hear that this week he has agreed to remain with the Eels until the end of next year, keen to repay the loyalty and faith the club has had in him.
The clash this weekend is going to be massive, with the Roosters looking to get their first win of the season. But if our boys in blue and gold put in another performance like Sunday, they will be hard to beat.
I look forward to seeing you all at the game!
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