Coming into their match against the Brisbane Broncos, the Parramatta Eels were averaging just 12 points per game across the preceding month. It was a worrying trend for a side that at one point looked as if it may challenge for the minor premiership.

In some respects the Broncos match allowed the Eels to click into something resembling good form in match conditions. Albeit the rain probably didn't help with ball movement.

What I'd like to highlight though, is Parramatta's intent early on. When in good field position they looked to score, they looked to open up gaps and they looked like a team with a lot more energy than they had in previous weeks.

While some passes didn't stick and others went floating over the sideline, they were mistakes in pursuit of points and not mistakes made in the middle of the field.

Importantly the Eels defended those mistakes and cashed in on other opportunities. 

Perhaps, most pleasingly, was the threat they once again presented on both sides of the field.

Two tries were scored down the left edge while Henry Perenara's incorrect and poorly timed knock-on call prevented Blake Ferguson from crossing twice on the night wiith Gutherson also crossing once on the right from a scrum.

It was far from a slick performance and perhaps that was down to Brad Arthur's rotation of his forward pack.

Junior Paulo and Shaun Lane were shifted to the bench with Kane Evans and Andrew Davey handed their first starts of the season. Davey in particular churned through a mountain of work and spent the majority of the night on Lane's edge, with the rangy back-rower filling in for Nathan Brown when he was given a rest.

Parramatta looked to attack a lot more throughout this game. Ryan Matterson was permitted to kick in behind the defensive line, Junior Paulo was again allowed to float into backline movements and ball play while Reed Mahoney looked dangerous from dummy-half with one of his runs eventually leading to a try on the next play. The Eels also looked to provide early ball to their edges, rather than wait for one big play and Moses seemed to have a roving commission with him popping up on both sides of the field.

The offloads also returned with the Eels providing 12 offloads to Brisbane's 5.

It's an attacking style that suits the Eels and one that has been missing for weeks.

There were still issues with Moses' kicking game. On a number of occasions he gave the Broncos comfortable kick returns that a good halfback shouldn't be offering. That being said, he also provided a number of good kicks that put Brisbane on the back foot.

Parramatta will have to step up a level against the Tigers this week. They'll want to lock up top four and head into the finals series with two straight wins under their belts. There is every chance the Tigers match will be a dead rubber come kick-off.

The Raiders have rested a whole host of players while Cronulla will be rolling out most of their top 17. That's not an excuse for Parramatta to take the foot off the gas but it may give them a little more freedom.

The Eels can show on Saturday night that they are improving. The Tigers will be up for the clash with legends Chris Lawrence and Benji Marshall playing their final game for the club.

If a win is needed to secure top four then the Eels will have an early taste of finals football and they'll need to win it if they want to challenge for the premiership.

This weekend is a chance to see if Parramatta are on the right track, or if they'll be cannon fodder at the business end of the season.

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  • Good article SuperEel, I agree that eels will click back to gear and last week was a step in the right direction.

  • Agree with most things. 
    Worrying things for me were when the broncos had a disallowed try  off a bomb in the first few minutes and the number of eels forward that just walked back and not turned around and ran to help out when Sivo dropped the kick and also Lanes effort from the kick off to not even attempt to tackle the broncos prop who than ran over the top of Rheed, he literally just let him run by him 

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