In this week's Ladies Who League column, Mary Kaye talks about the big Easter Monday game, taking risks and what might have been. Remember you can always find more columns on Ladies Who League!
This weekend was all about the things that make Rugby League great.
It was a perfect Easter Monday afternoon when 50,668 fans wearing either blue and gold or orange and black turned up at ANZ Stadium to watch their teams do battle in what was shaping up to be the game of the round.
Our Parramatta Eels had been in tremendous form leading up to this game, defeating the Roosters the week before and coming off three straight wins. Despite the Tigers also having won their last three games, it's fair to say they were the underdogs coming into the clash with Robbie Farah ruled out through injury.
This game also had special significance, with the Eels dedicating the game to our farmers who are doing it tough at the moment in the face of drought. Whilst I am always proud to be a Parramatta supporter, I am even prouder when I see one of our club heroes, Ben Smith start initiatives like this to help raise awareness and support for an issue he is passionate about. It helps remind us what's really important.
For the fans at the game, they were treated to something special. It had everything - a massive crowd, big hit ups, strong defence, thrilling attack and it went down to the wire. It was a Tigers field goal which put them ahead with only a few minutes remaining, with the final result being 21-18 in their favour.
I know many Parramatta supporters who will be disappointed with the result. Whilst we were unlucky in that it's rare for two tries to be scored from intercepts in one game, we did have our opportunities and we did not take them. The phrase I keep remembering is 'you can't win them all'.
This game illustrated the confidence the team is currently playing with. Our attack is looking so much better than last year. We are taking risks in attack and as a result we have become threatening, unpredictable and dangerous despite our position on the field. On Monday, two Tigers tries came from intercepts. Had the passes which led to these tries stuck, the Eels would have scored … unfortunately it went the other way.
When you have players like Jarryd Hayne and Chris Sandow in your team, plays like this are part of their magic. Jarryd and Chris were both excellent on Monday, particularly Jarryd who was instrumental in Parramatta's first two tries. When these players take risks, they don't always pay off and we saw this on Monday afternoon.
However, the Eels are playing the best footy I have seen them play in a long time, so I am not disappointed. I hope we keep taking risks in attack because we are playing a style of footy I can't get enough of.
A big congratulations to everyone who attended the game. It was Parramatta's biggest home crowd for a non-finals game ever and it was a sensational atmosphere to be part of.
Special mention also to David Gower, who I thought had a very good game.
I'm looking forward to our clash against the Cowboys. I hope all our fans in Townsville enjoy having the team up there for the weekend!