Parramatta supporters harshly criticize the NRL’s ill-fated agreement with Darwin

Parramatta fans are still puzzled days after their team’s humiliating defeat to the Dolphins, questioning the rationale behind relinquishing a home game to compete in the sweltering conditions of Darwin.

Coach Brad Arthur criticized the Eels, labeling them a “part-time football team” after their collapse against the Dolphins, resulting in a dismal 44-16 loss at TIO Stadium. Despite leading 8-4 at halftime, they conceded eight tries in a woeful second half performance.

Despite the Dolphins missing several key players and their coach, Wayne Bennett, due to illness, angry Parra fans are now expressing frustration, hoping their team avoids future trips to the Top End after suffering three consecutive losses there.

Dolphins players, pictured here during their win over the Eels.

Since signing a 10-year agreement with the Northern Territory government in 2013 to play a home game in Darwin each season, the Eels have been enthusiastic about the venture. Captain Clint Gutherson expressed the team’s fondness for the NT trip, citing it as a highlight on their calendar and appreciating the support from loyal fans.

Arthur echoed this sentiment, stating that the team enjoys their time in Darwin and receives a positive reception.

Although the Eels initially found success in Darwin, winning six of their first seven visits, they have been unable to secure a victory since 2021. Notably, all recent losses occurred in April, when Darwin experiences high temperatures and humidity.

Many Eels supporters are urging against renewing the deal with the Northern Territory government, criticizing the decision to play in Darwin during the hot and humid conditions, particularly against a Queensland team. Some fans believe the decision prioritizes financial gains over winning games.

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