NRL 2 years ago

Eels farewell Pirtek Stadium in style

  • Eels farewell Pirtek Stadium in style

    SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - AUGUST 29: Bevan French of the Eels celebrates one of his tries during the round 25 NRL match between the Parramatta Eels and the St George Illawarra Dragons at Pirtek Stadium on August 29, 2016 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Mark Nolan/Getty Images)

They were saying goodbye to the past, but they also got a glimpse of the future.

Parramatta farewelled Pirtek Stadium in style on Monday, with a hat-trick of tries to fullback-in waiting Bevan French leading the Eels to a 30-18 win over St George Illawarra.

In the final NRL fixture at the western Sydney venue before it undergoes a reconstruction at the end of the year, a hearty crowd of 13,553 departed with a special memento.

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French scored twice in the first half to help his team to a 12-6 lead at the break, however it was a special third that showed why coach Brad Arthur has handed him the No.1 jumper for much of the past month.

What began with a Tim Mannah offload on the 50-metre line turned into Brad Takairangi breaking free out wide, before a sharp kick in-field found a flying French to complete his hat-trick in the 62nd minute.

Veteran Michael Gordon also signed off from his final home game as an Eel with a second half try and a perfect five goals from five attempts to finish with a personal haul of 14 points.

By then the Eels had a commanding 30-6 lead.

Dragons winger Kurt Mann nabbed two consolation tries late, but it was yet another disappointing performance from the Dragons, who slumped to their seventh loss in eight games.

It was just the second time they scored more than two tries over that span.

Not even the introduction of youngster Drew Hutchison could spark their flailing attack.

Called into the team for axed veteran Benji Marshall, the 21-year-old took control of most of the team's kicking but played behind a badly beaten forward pack that spent most of the game in its own territory.

Compounding the defeat was a second-half ankle injury to forward Tariq Sims. Tyson Frizell came from the field with a knee injury in the first half but retired with an ankle injury in the second.

The match was also the final Monday night NRL game.

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