Parramatta’s best start to an NRL season in 27 years looks even better as the Eels approach a run of five games at their home ground Bankwest Stadium.
Brad Arthur’s team became the first Eels team since 1993 to go 3-0 at the start of a season with an impressive 34-6 mauling of Brisbane at Suncorp Stadium on Thursday.
In line with the NRL’s strict protocols to get the season back underway amid the COVID-19 crisis, the Eels flew up to Brisbane and back to Sydney all in the same day.
That will be the last time Parramatta have to think about travelling however until round nine when they head to Gosford to play Newcastle.
In between then they’ll face Manly, Penrith, Sydney Roosters, Canberra and North Queensland all at their home ground.
It’s a draw which has many feeling makes the Eels serious premiership contenders but Arthur doesn’t see it as such an advantage in the age of locked-out venues without spectators.
“We’re comfortable playing there but there’s no 30,000 or 20,000 fans which helps,” he said.
“Whatever team comes there to play, I think they’re going to be comfortable there too.
“It’s a good facility, like this place (Suncorp).
“We went to the Titans, good facility. We didn’t feel like we were disadvantaged coming here today, we didn’t feel like we were disadvantaged going to the Titans a couple of weeks ago.
“I’m sure that other teams aren’t going to be disadvantaged going to Bankwest.”
The Eels only have to look back to the last time they won their three opening fixtures to be wary of getting too carried away.
After being 3-0 in 1993, Parramatta won just six of the next 19 games and missed the finals to finish in 11th place.
For now though, Arthur was full of praise for his team’s strong resumption to the 2020 season despite feeling they’d “left a few tries out there” against the Broncos.
“We have worked on our patience in the pre-season,” he said.
“We did that to the Titans (in round two) and that is the style of footy that we want to play.”