AAP Rugby

Eels end 147-day stay at bottom of NRL

By AAP Newswire

After 147 days of ridicule, Parramatta are off the bottom of the NRL ladder.

The Eels finally showed why they were considered premiership contenders at the start of the year after upsetting St George Illawarra 40-4 on Saturday.

Parramatta coach Brad Arthur labelled it their best performance of the season.

"That's the first time all year, we've put in a full 80 minutes," Arthur said.

"Since the Darwin game seven games ago, I think we've been consistent.

"I know we haven't won all those games but we've been right in the contest and been close and lost a couple of close games there, probably more so around confidence than anything.

"But that's the first time I've put a full 80 minutes in."

The Eels made just three errors for the night as they put the Dragons to the sword in an effort that would likely have made fans wonder where this fight was for most of the year.

"I knew that question was coming but the what ifs now... we can't do anything about what's happened. We can only make sure (about) what we do now moving forward," Arthur said.

Jarryd Hayne nabbed his first hat trick in five years, while halfback Mitchell Moses set up four tries and got one himself to finish with 16 points for the night.

Arthur may have also unearthed his five-eighth for the future in rookie Jaeman Salmon, with Corey Norman also performing strongly at fullback.

"Normy was blowing a touch there at the end," Arthur said.

"But he just likes to get his hands on the footy. It takes him away from having to worry about too much organisational stuff and just play a bit of footy.

"I thought young Jaeman had warmed into the game well. He was good physically, which is always going to be the test for him."

The Eels' big win improved their for-and-against enough to jump over North Queensland - who also won this week - and off the bottom of the ladder for the first time since round two.

It means Cowboys great Johnathan Thurston could retire with the wooden spoon.