The last time Parramatta were in better shape than they are this year after six rounds, they won a premiership.

Not since 1986 – the most recent of Parramatta's four titles – have they won five or more of their opening six games. That year they won their first five straight games (following a round-one bye) to sit alone atop the NSWRL ladder after six rounds.

Since then they have won four of their first six games six times, including 2019, but on none of those occasions have they held a better points differential than the +52 they have earned on the back of Monday's huge win over Wests Tigers, according to NRL.com Stats.

With four other teams carrying a lofty 5-1 record through six rounds, the Eels sit fifth on the Telstra Premiership ladder, which is not necessarily their best position after six rounds in recent times. In 2016 they had a 4-2 record (with a +41 differential) to sit third after six weeks.

But a 4-2 record with +52 differential is their best since 1986.

Of course this is no sort of claim that the Eels are morals to add another premiership trophy to their cabinet – the Roosters and Storm remain the benchmark this year – and if anything it just underscores the Blue & Gold's struggles since their 1980s golden era came to a close.

Even in their best seasons in that time they have tended to start slowly. They famously came from a long way back in the 2009 charge to the grand final but in their 2005 minor premiership and even their dominant 2001 season they started with middling 3-3 records.

But after adding another wooden spoon in 2018 on the back of a horror 0-6 start to the year, the bright start to 2019 is a welcome relief for their long-suffering faithful.