There is, for a team that promised so much yet remain winless, a final ignominy: their season effectively came to an end at the hands of Ricky Stuart.
As they have for the past 32 seasons, Parramatta fans have been left to utter, “Oh well, theres always next year”. But never have those words been spoken in April. No team in history has ever recovered from a 0-6 start to make the play-offs and, on the evidence presented so far, the Eels will not be the first.
The result gave Stuart, the man who presided over Parramattas last wooden spoon season, a victory in his 350th game as an NRL coach. Just when you thought it couldnt get worse, the Eels are next scheduled to meet an opponent that put 54 unanswered points on them just a month ago.
In that loss to Manly, the blue and golds were accused of not trying hard enough. Perhaps at GIO Stadium, they were trying too hard. Whatever the case, the points arent coming. Had Mitchell Moses not slotted a penalty goal right on half-time, they wouldnt have troubled the scorers at all. Even when they were attacking a Canberra team line consisting just 12 men – Luke Bateman spent the final 10 minutes in the sin bin – they came up with nothing.
While the conditions were difficult – it was one of those wet and windy nights in the nations capital – the Green Machine still managed three tries.