NRL 2019: Blake Ferguson stars as Eels thrash Bulldogs as they go 2-0

Ferguson stars in the Eels win.
Ferguson stars in the Eels win. Photo credit: Image: Getty

Parramatta aren't ready to declare themselves NRL contenders, after their Blake Ferguson-inspired 36-16 demolition of struggling Canterbury, but they expect to have a better idea of where they stand next week.

The star winger scored two tries, set up another and ran for 272m at ANZ Stadium on Sunday, as the Eels secured consecutive wins and continued the Bulldogs' horrendous season start.

After finishing with the wooden spoon last year, the Eels look a different outfit this year, with Ferguson and rookie five-eighth Dylan Brown having an immediate effect on Brad Arthur's side.

Ferguson's impact, bringing the ball out of his side's own end and strike out wide, has given the Eels what they have been missing, since Semi Radradra's departure at the end of 2017.

"He's helped," Arthur said, when asked if Ferguson had changed the club's culture.

"He's a winner and the boys just love being next to him, because it breeds confidence in the sheds.

"He just thinks he's going out to win all the time."

While the blue-and-gold faithful have plenty to crow about after the opening fortnight, Arthur urged patience and said they hadn't proved anything yet.

Their litmus test will come next Friday night, when they come up against the reigning premiers and Ferguson's former side, the Sydney Roosters.

"Our attitude is in the right space coming up against last year's premiers," Arthur said.

"In terms of the footy we're playing and our execution, we have to be better, because they don't give you many chances."

Despite his side running out comprehensive winners, Arthur lamented their mixed second half.

The home side began positively enough, enjoying a glut of early possession, and by the time they opened up a 10-0 lead after 20 minutes, Parramatta had only completed two sets.

But the Eels dominated from there and piled on 30 unanswered points.

They regained the lead, after Ferguson ran through Lachlan Lewis, before young hooker Reed Mahoney set up Clint Gutherson to make it 12-10 at the break.

After the resumption, Ferguson set up Gutherson's second, before snatching a Josh Jackson pass from the air and running 90 metres to score.

After conceding 76 points in the opening two weeks, coach Dean Pay didn't rule out ringing in changes against Wests Tigers next week, with Nick Meaney and Rhyse Martin expected to come into selection contention.

"We'll have a look and see where we need to be better with some of our players," Pay said.

"We'll see how our second grade went today, so there's a few guys that are putting some pressure on there."