If you were cynical, you would have expected the NRL to plough the surface of the new Bankwest Stadium in Parramatta, in order to approximate what the clubs trying to play at SCG experience, but the new rectangular facility was pristine, compared to a billiard table by some.
The Eels had the honour of launching the new stadium with a game against Wests Tigers and the fresh turf must have lent wings to their feet, as they ran out to a 51 – 6 win in their new digs.
The Tigers must have been too full of chocolate bunnies and yellow marshmallow peeps, because they decided that playing defense was a needless expenditure of energy and allowed five tries in during the first half.
We will blame their lack of offense on too many jellybeans.
The fans enjoyed steeply sloped stands and in terms of proximity, the purpose-built rectangular facility was an exponential leap for spectators too often forced to watch football in voluminous cricket oval stadiums.
Parramatta residents will have to find a new pool in which to swim, as the new stadium saw the pool drained and filled in, but progress does have a price.
Perhaps the problems at Eagle Farm were party responsible to the ghost of an old pool returning to haunt the current users, but we have no idea what may be buried beneath SCG.
The Eels did not have the capacity crowd for which they had hoped, but they came close, so that is a positive in a Telstra 2019 NRL Premiership competition that has seen the Eels come to life. They have already won four times, just two short of their entire haul for 2018.
The Western Sydney Wanderers are co-tenants with the Eels for the new facility. They will get their first chance on July 20, when Leeds United comes for an exhibition.
The Eels will use the new ground four more times and the NSW Waratahs will host three Super Rugby games.