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In our first Ladies who League blog for 2017, Mary Kaye looks at the Parramatta Eels opening two rounds of the season, by the numbers. 

You can catch up on Mary Kaye's blogs at Ladies who League here.

The first two weeks, by the numbers

16. That’s the number of points that Semi Radardra scored in the Parramatta Eels victory over the St. George Illawarra Dragons on Sunday.

19,108. That’s the number of members the Eels have this year thus far.

2. That’s the number of games that Suaia Matagi has played for the Parramatta Eels (although after seeing him play, I wish it was a lot more).

5. That’s the number of independent directors appointed to the Eels Board of Directors last month. These appointments were another step in the process which has seen the most significant governance reforms in the club’s history.

0. That’s the number of penalties that Nathan Brown has given away in 2017.

14. That’s the number of times I’ve wondered what hairstyle Clint Gutherson will have on the weekend.

These numbers are all worth celebrating but at the moment, 2 is my favourite number.

2 is the number of games the Eels have won in a row. With victories over the Manly Sea Eagles and the Dragons, this is the first time since 1999 that the Eels have started a season with two wins on the trot.

After the year we had last year, it’s tremendous to be off to a good start.  

I know that 2016 was a difficult year to be an Eels fan, but I look back on that year now and recognise that the circumstances which led to us being stripped of our competition points and dissolving our board of directors has given our club a clean slate.

In rugby league, it is rare that a club is given a clean slate and I’m pleased to see the club take this opportunity with 2 hands.

Plenty has changed in the last 6 months.

Bernie Gurr has been welcomed as our new CEO. Since being appointed Bernie has demonstrated a passion for rugby league, noted the importance of good governance and recognised the importance of fans to a team’s success on the field. Every time I hear Bernie speak, I am struck by his passion for the club that he is now so proud to lead.

Players have come and players have gone. We said goodbye to Danny Wicks, Luke Kelly and others, but have welcomed Suaia Matagi, Frank Pritchard and Nathan Brown – all of whose impact has immediately been felt on the field.

Some things have stayed the same though – including the team demonstrating a sense of resilience and togetherness, developed during one of the hardest years in the club’s history and bringing that forward into our performances on the field in 2017.

We still have work to do. The lack of sponsorship on our jersey is noticeable. The impact of the past is still being managed. But we are on our way.

As fans, we have been there for the club in its time of need. Now is our opportunity to get excited about the rebuild and celebrate a club where good governance is central to the way we operate.

We have a big game this weekend against the Titans and I’m really hoping the Eels make it 3 in a row.

Then I can officially start the countdown till our first home game of the year. I hope you have all marked 25 March in your diaries. 

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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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