10 Mar 2013

Eels thump Warriors in season opener

11:32 am on 10 March 2013

The 2012 NRL wooden spooners Parramatta began life under Ricky Stuart by thumping the New Zealand Warriors 40-10 in their National Rugby League opener.

Three unanswered tries in the first half set up the win, but Stuart would no doubt have been impressed with the resolve his players showed in the second half when the Warriors threatened a comeback.

Jacob Lillyman and Dane Nielsen both scored for a largely disappointing visitors outfit to trim Parramatta's lead to 18-10, but the Eels kicked clear thanks largely to their talismanic fullback, Jarryd Hayne, who scored a hat-trick of tries.

The new Warriors coach Matthew Elliott has plenty of work to do with his side maintaining the struggles which typified their performances last year.

Compounding his problems is an ankle injury which had Manu Vatuvei limping off before a quarter of the game had passed, while Elijah Taylor became the first player put on report under the new shoulder charge ban in the 45th minute.