Eels facing Sea Eagles without a win

BY the time the Parramatta Eels play Manly at Brookvale Oval on Sunday it will be 638 days since the blue and gold won an away game in NSW.

On that occasion Nathan Hindmarsh inspired a come from behind 19-18 win against Penrith at the foot of the mountains in June 2012.

Since then the Eels haven't won on the road in their home state in 91 weeks.

Even the long-awaited return of the gold away jersey couldn't break the streak as the Sydney Roosters ran riot in the second half to win 56-4 on Saturday night.

It's the second time in three meetings the reigning premiers have racked up 50 points against the Eels.

It also firmly maintains the Roosters as the blue and gold's number one bogey team.

The tri-colours have won six of their last seven head-to-head matches for a combined score of 251-94.

Eels coach Brad Arthur said defence would be priority number one this week as they take on the other grand finalists from last year, Manly. Arthur was the assistant coach for the Sea Eagles in 2013.

"We need to be better with our defence, that's all there is to it: you can't give a good team like that back-to-back sets and good field position," Arthur said

"That brought us back to earth pretty quick."

Arthur will be hoping his team can bounce back pretty quickly and break an alarming trend of slow starts.

In the past five years the Eels have won only six from 20 games during rounds two-to-five.

The Eels will be bolstered by the return of round one man of the match Nathan Peats from suspension.

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