Dyldam Parramatta Eels centre Will Hopoate has praised the Blue and Gold forward pack for their efforts in lifting the Eels to three straight wins in the past three weeks of compeition, including their "home away from home" win in Darwin on Saturday night.
The Eels left Darwin 18-10 winners over the Canberra Raiders, and Hopoate says the team’s go-forward was crucial in letting Jarryd Hayne and the back line unleash in attack and securing the win.
The two tries to the Eels fullback meant he became only the third Eels player in the club’s history to score 100 career tries in the Blue and Gold jersey.
“We knew canberra were going to come out tough,” Hopoate said.
“After every game we’ve got a good score against us, the following week we try to do our best to bounce back, and they did that, so we had to really work for the win.”
“[Jarryd]’s such a big part of this team and such a big part of why we’re having success, he’s a freak. But I think a lot to the credit too goes to our forwards: if they don’t go forward then us backs can’t really do our job.”
And despite the unfamiliar surroundings, Hopoate said the support of the Northern Territory crowd made Darwin a second home for the Eels as they prepared for the game and ran out onto TIO Stadium.
“We’ve appreciated the support, and especially the crowd,” Hopoate said.
“It’s a home away from home and we appreciate it!”