The Parramatta District Rugby League Football Club, commonly known as the Parramatta Eels, is also referred to by many as Parra or the Eels. Founded in 1946, and based in the Sydney suburb of Parramatta, the Eels joined the NSWRL (New South Wales Rugby League – established prior to the ARL) in 1947.
On top of participating in the NRL, Parramatta also enters lower grades and junior competitions, are run by the NSWRL, and proving the depth of their talents, are constantly a premiership winning contender.
Parramatta Eels Information
Home Ground: Parramatta Stadium
Colours: Blue & Gold
Number of Premierships Won: 4 (1981, 1982, 1983 & 1986)
Number of Minor Premierships Won: 5 (1977, 1982, 1986, 2001, 2005)
Established in 1946 as a side to represent Sydney’s Western suburbs, Parramatta became a part of the NSWRL in the 1947 season and saw little success for its first few years; finishing bottom of the ladder from 1956 to 1961. However it was the following year where the Eels made a name for themselves, reaching the finals for the first time in 1962, which they did three years consecutively through to 1965.
In 1976 the Eels made their first ever NSWRL Grand Final but came off second best to Manly-Warringah, however triggering a rise in form, the club capitalised in 1977 by winning their first minor premiership. The 1980s provided the Eels with their most successful period of history, in which they won the Grand Final four times, and in 1986 – their last victory in the Grand Final – the Eels beat the Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs 4-2, in what was the lowest scoring Grand Final in history.
Since 1998 and the arrival of the NRL, the Parramatta Eels have not found the glory they did in the 80s, although finished second behind the Cronulla Sharks in the second year. In 2001, the Eels set a record in the regular season, ending on 839 points after 26 matches to establish them as the minor premiers – and while continuing their winning streak in the finals, lost out in the Grand Final to the Newcastle Knights. The Eels then faded from the spotlight in 2003 & 2004, finishing in the bottom half of the league, and bounced back in 2005 claiming their second Minor Premiership since the establishment of the NRL, losing the ultimate crown to the North Queensland Cowboys.
Emblem, Colours & Jerseys
In 1980, after the association between Parramatta – the name the side was originally established as – and the Parramatta Eels, the club changed its crest to a motif featuring an eel. The emblem was updated in 2000, with the club mascot then added to the design in 2005, however from the 2011 Season onwards, the Eels will revert back to the original emblem seen in the 1980s.
Since its conception, Parramatta adopted the colours of the local Parramatta High School which are blue and gold, and while these colours have been consistent throughout the history of the club, the tones have varied over the years. These colours flow through to the home and away jerseys worn by the Parramatta Eels, with the former predominantly gold with blue stripes and the away jersey reversed, although blue shorts are always worn.
Both the home and training ground for the Eels is the Parramatta Stadium, and situated just north of Parramatta itself, can seat up to 21,847 people. The stadium opened in 1986, with the Cumberland Oval located in the same spot before the stadium was built, and was the original home to the Eels. The largest crowd to watch the Eels play at the Oval was in 1971 when they played the South Sydney Rabbitohs, and saw 22,470 spectators travel to the ground.
Between 1982 and 1985, the club used the Belmore Oval, which was also the home of the Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs, while the current stadium was being built. Since the opening of the Parramatta Stadium, the biggest crowd to have attended a match was in 2006 against the Wests Tigers when 21,141 people turned up.
For truly avid fans of the Parramatta Eels, there are plenty of membership options available to pledge your allegiance. With various deals and packages on offer, members can make the most of plenty of perks by signing up and receiving discounts. Depending on where you would like your seats, and what sort of supporter packs you are after, membership deals range from just $75.65 to $137.50 for an adult.
Eric the eel is the mascot for the Parramatta Eels. Playing as a winger, he believes the ‘eel is quicker than the eye’, and with 180kg of weight behind him can often be seen hanging out at Parramatta Park.
Best Bet To Make
When betting on the Parramatta Eels, it can be quite tough to select the right market considering they do not normally make it to the finals, yet are not usually wooden spoon contenders. Traditionally the Eels do not win their season opener, however can be tipped to triumph when they are on home soil, and to score consistently.
Also betting on victories during the latter half of the season is an option to consider, with the Eels losing just two of their last 11 fixtures in the 2009 season, although when they do lose – they tend to score very little. Check out the range of markets available at Ladbrokes.com.au so you can get a better feel for the most suitable odds for the Eels.