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This week, our weekly columnist, Mary Kaye, gives us her thoughs as the Eels prepare to play in Eels Territory. Remember you can find more of her work at

Parramatta Eels fans are you ready? Are you holding on tight? Because the Hayne Plane and the Fuifui Express have their eyes firmly set on one goal - finals football in September. One thing is for sure, the Parramatta Eels are not going down without a fight.

On Saturday night, our Parramatta Eels made it two wins in a row, with a 32-12 victory over the Cronulla Sharks. It was extremely encouraging to leave Shark Park with the two points, particularly as the Sharks are considered one of our 'bogey teams' and, as we all know, have the potential to be able to score points very quickly.

It was by no means a perfect performance. Whilst our opening 20 minutes was strong, Andrew Fifita lifted the Sharks for the second part of the first half and it looked like the Eels would have a real fight on their hands to get the two points.

A team effort helped to get us home, but as usual there were some stand out performances.

Jarryd Hayne is currently in career best form. His enthusiasm and leadership sets the example for the rest of the team and on more than one occasion he has left me saying 'wow', in response to his tremendous talent and athleticism.

I would also like to take this chance to both welcome and congratulate our newest winger Bureta Faraimo in his first ever NRL performance. It was sensational to see him score a double on debut.

Other stand outs last weekend were Semi Radradra, Chris Sandow, David Gower and Tepai Moeroa.

Following that win, the Eels find themselves on ninth spot based on for and against.  There are many Eels fans, including myself, who are now looking at the NRL ladder and thinking the unthinkable - could Parramatta, for the first time since that magic run in 2009, make the top 8?

The final rounds of the competition are going to be very interesting and it's important that we take one game at a time.

This weekend is going to be exciting - the boys land today in our 'second home', Darwin to take on the Canberra Raiders. I hope they can handle the heat!

Whilst winning on the field is important, what I think is more important is ensuring that our players are positive role models not just for the rugby league community but the community at large. The Eels have always done me proud in this regard through men like Luke Burt, Nathan Cayless, Tim Mannah, Ben Smith and Mitchell Allgood.

This week, it has been wonderful to see so many of our players continuing to get involved in the community and taking part in "Eels Territory" week with visits to schools and junior league clubs in Darwin and Katherine. I look forward to seeing many photos and selfies this week celebrating our special week in the Territory and the tremendous rugby league talent which the Northern Territory has to offer.

To all the people who are heading to Darwin this weekend, we are counting on you to get our boys home. Cheer loudly and cheer with pride. I look forward to seeing you all in Blue and Gold up in #eelsterritory.  

Acknowledgement of Country

Parramatta Eels respect and honour the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.

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