Eels smash woeful Broncos
Last-placed Parramatta gave caretaker coach Brad Arthur a dream NRL debut and left Brisbane's premiership claims in a mess at Suncorp Stadium on Monday night.
The rejuvenated Eels pulled off their second stunning upset in as many weeks backing up their win over Melbourne with a surprisingly easy 42-22 win over the Broncos.
Arthur, who took over from head coach Stephen Kearney this week, delivered on a pre-game promise to take the shackles off expensive halfback recruit Chris Sandow who took the first steps to convincing Parramatta fans he will be worth his high price tag.
The little No.7 grabbed two tries -- the second racing 50 metres and standing up speedy Brisbane back Gerard Beale before diving across the try line.
Parramatta piled on five converted tries in the opening 40 minutes against the defensively woeful Broncos to lead 30-6.
Brisbane's defence was terrible, allowing Parramatta forwards Ben Smith and Reni Maitua to bust them wide open.
At half time the Eels had eight line breaks to nil.
Brisbane came out with a full head of steam in the second half with fullback Luke Capewell scoring two minutes after the resumption.
Hooker Andrew McCullough scampered across three minutes later for the home side to close to 30-18 in the 45th minutes.
With a majority of the 22,626 crowd getting behind them, Brisbane raised hopes of monumental comeback before Sandow delivered a perfect pass for a charging Fuifui Moimoi to crash over in the 59th minute to take the pressure off.
His try extended Parramatta's lead to 36-18 before impressive young Broncos winger Lachlan Maranta out-jumped his opposite Ken Sio to score in the 65th minute off a Ben Hunt bomb.
Brisbane suffered without the services of fullback Josh Hoffman, representative centre Justin Hodges and forward Corey Parker whose work around the ruck was sorely missed.
Adding to the loss was a suspected hamstring injury to halfback Peter Wallace who limped off at the 65th minute mark.
Parramatta fullback Jake Mullaney was very impressive along with centre Ryan Morgan, Sandow, Moimoi, Smith, Maitua and Justin Poore who scored his first try since May, 2009.
The loss dropped Brisbane to fifth place on the table, behind North Queensland on percentages.
Arthur walked into his first post-game press conference joking with Eels skipper Nathan Hindmarsh.
But asked how he felt, he put on a serious face and replied: "It's one game.
"After half time, the way we started (Brisbane scored two tries in five minutes) I was looking for the exit after 10 minutes."
Broncos coach Anthony Griffin summed up his feelings saying: "We got what we deserved, tonight was an embarrassing effort."
He didn't get an argument from captain Sam Thaiday who described Brisbane's performance as "terrible".
"We've got to go back and hit the reset button, we were terrible out there tonight," he said.
"We have to find a bit of character, get back to playing some tough football."
"We're not playing like a finals side, we can't think about the finals."