NRL: Draw gives the Eels confidence to face Warriors

Captain Tim Mannah is confident the Eels' attack will fire after scoring just 14 points in their past two trials. Photo / NZPA
Captain Tim Mannah is confident the Eels' attack will fire after scoring just 14 points in their past two trials. Photo / NZPA

A composed performance from halfback Chris Sandow and a quiet but classy return from fullback Jarryd Hayne against Penrith have Parramatta's hierarchy confident ahead of their NRL opener despite their average trial form.

The Eels kick off their campaign against the Warriors on March 9 after a win, a loss and a draw in three pre-season hitouts.

Coach Ricky Stuart's team won their first trial 46-10 over a very-inexperienced Newcastle side in Armidale at the start of the month but have struggled to score points in the past two games.

They drew 10-10 with the Panthers in wet conditions at Penrith on Saturday night, in a vastly improved effort from a week earlier when they were pasted 41-4 by Wests Tigers.

Captain Tim Mannah is confident the Eels' attack will fire after scoring just 14 points in their past two trials.

"We've got some players in our team who can score points so I'm sure our attack will come," Mannah said.

The former NSW prop was particularly impressed with Sandow who set up both of Parramatta's tries by Hayne and wing Cheyse Blair.

"That was the best I've seen Chris play for a long time. It was a really controlled game by him. He led the team and just steered us around the park really well," Mannah said.

Stuart's influence on Sandow was evident against the Panthers as the former Rabbitoh turned in a complete No7's game in a 60-minute display which was highlighted by a terrific kicking performance.

Co-captain Hayne, who led the side out for the first time, was also quick to praise Sandow.

"Chrissy's kicking game was probably the highlight of his game tonight and definitely was something that really put pressure on the Panthers," he said.

Mannah said having Hayne back for the Eels gave the 2012 wooden-spooners a massive boost.

-AAP


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