The Parramatta Eels have strolled to a dominant 48-12 win over the Western Mustangs in the under-18s national rugby league final.
The Eels, who won the NSW championship in a hard-fought win over the Cronulla Sharks, played their best game of the year against the Queensland champions, according to coach Scott Jones.
“We were always building towards the national final,” he said.
“For the boys to go out and play like they did in such an important game was a credit to themselves.”
The Eels had an incredible first half to take the game away from the Mustangs, where they scored 28 unanswered points and made just three errors.
Jones said the Eels had a 85 per cent completion rate in a “clinical” display.
Winger Ethan Parry claimed the man of the match award after scoring a hat-trick, his second in two weeks after tallying three tries in the SG Ball final.
Parry won the man of the match award for his efforts but was ably supported by centre Haze Dunster and halfback Dylan Brown, who scored two tries each.
More impressive for Parramatta was the age of the side with only five 18-year-old players in the final team.
“To have Ethan Parry, who was one of those players in that squad, perform as well as he had in the grand final and the national final, that’s what I expect of those boys,” Jones said.
“The whole team is basically a year young and they’ll still be there next year.”
With 10 under-18 players in the Eels under-20s squad including Tuimavave Afualo, Oregon Kaufusi, Filia Utoikamanu and Noel Aukafolau, Jones said the result was “a massive achievement in itself”.