Fans Delirious As Eels Rack Up Huge Win In New Bankwest Stadium
A new stadium, a new sense of hope. That's what fans of the NRL's most consistently under-performing club, the Parramatta Eels, would have hoped for.
And they got it too, as Parra piled on a big score against the Wests Tigers.
The Eels charged out to a 30-0 lead half an hour into the match, buoyed by crowd support and an excellent kicking and running game from former Tiger Mitchell Moses. The final score was 51-6.
But the real winner? The people of western Sydney, of course.
Yep, they were loving it.
In fact they were loving it so much they're calling it "Parradise".
But of course, it's not just the Eels that will call Bankwest Stadium home. The Western Sydney Wanderers A-League team will set up shop there next season, too.
Other NRL clubs are eyeing off tenancies at the stadium too, including one of today's combatants, the Tigers, who will play four games at the venue this year and possibly more in the future.
Indeed, a bit of a stadium "ownership" war broke out on social media. The Tigers used the hashtag #ourjungle.
Not their jungle. Not a jungle at all, actually. And definitely not theirs.
No, as Parramatta reminded us often, the stadium today was "Parradise".
Meanwhile, a lesser conflict broke out on social media over a few empty seats at the 30,000-capacity arena, which was supposed to be sold out today.
Whatever. All that really mattered was that the Eels were unstoppable.
And whether the next match against the Dragons on May 5 is a sellout or not, you can be sure there will again be a great atmosphere, and that Parramatta fans will go home happy no matter who wins.
Oh, who are we kidding? No they won't.
But in all seriousness, this was a great afternoon for Parramatta. The Tigers weren't even that terrible. Their completion rate was quite high, but the Eels -- and you have to say it -- were just electric across the field.
"It's pretty special to run out here and play the way we did," Eels skipper Clint Gutherson told Fox Sports after the game.
Yep, it showed.
Meanwhile, Mitchell Moses got the full set of firsts at Bankwest Stadium -- first try, first goal, and then first field goal with his last-minute one-pointer.