There's no place like home to bring out this side's best

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - MARCH 27:  Eels fans celebrate a try during the round four NRL match between the Parramatta Eels and the South Sydney Rabbitohs at Pirtek Stadium on March 27, 2015 in Sydney, Australia.  (Photo by Mark Metcalfe/Getty Images) getty images
SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - MARCH 27: Eels fans celebrate a try during the round four NRL match between the Parramatta Eels and the South Sydney Rabbitohs at Pirtek Stadium on March 27, 2015 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Mark Metcalfe/Getty Images) getty images

EVERY team in the NRL has one common goal: to turn their home ground into a fortress.

The Parramatta Eels have certainly achieved that.

Last year the Eels were a seven point better attacking team and 13 point better defensive team at Pirtek Stadium compared to playing on the road.

Wins against Manly and Souths to start 2015 takes their record to 11 wins from their past 13 games at the venue.

So what it is about Pirtek Stadium that makes the Eels so hard to beat? Is it blue and gold army? The familiar surroundings? The unwavering support?

For Eels hardman Darcy Lussick, there is something comfortable at playing on the hallowed piece of turf that is bounded by O'Connell Street to the east and Parramatta Park to the west.

"There is something about Pirtek Stadium that just makes us feel comfortable and we love playing at home," Lussick said.

"The crowd and the supporters get behind us and it is a great place to play footy."

Fellow forward David Gower said home was definitely where the heart is for the Eels squad.

"We have a great bunch of fans that pack out Pirtek Stadium which is a big help for us and definitely gives us a home ground advantage," Gower said.

"They give us a good lift and we play with lots of enthusiasm and energy at home.

"It's a strange one though — home or away it doesn't really matter for me.

"I'm always excited to pull on the Parramatta jersey and the next challenge for us is to improve our away record."

Eels coach Brad Arthur agreed and said the Eels needed to find that same form on the road if they wanted to contend for the play-offs.

"It's an attitude thing," Arthur said after their upset win against the Rabbitohs.

"I'm hoping that's going to be a turning point for us moving forward but we've already spoken about how we need to find that same attitude and that same attitude away from Parramatta Stadium."

The Eels get the next chance to improve their home record when they play the Titans on Saturday afternoon. They head into the game off the back of a scrappy 22-6 loss to the Wests Tigers.

The last time they played an afternoon fixture at Parramatta, they won 36-0 against Dragons.

This story There's no place like home to bring out this side's best first appeared on Parramatta Sun.

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