Bankwest Stadium is the perfect stage for the 9s. Photo: Mark Kolbe/Getty Images
Bankwest Stadium is the perfect stage for the 9s. Photo: Mark Kolbe/Getty Images

From beating the Bati to taking on the world

FROM Bula to Bankwest.

Parramatta's Prime Minister's XIII stars are already ­salivating at returning home for the World Nines at ­Bankwest Stadium next Friday and Saturday.

After a strong 52-10 win over a Fijian PM's team in Suva on Friday night, Eels players Mitch Moses, Clint Gutherson and Nathan Brown were on a flight back to Sydney on Saturday to start preparing for the 12-nation, nines tournament.

And the event has ­additional spice for the trio - a return to a stadium where they helped Parramatta win nine from 11 games this season, including a famous 58-0 qualifying-final win over Brisbane.

Moses also etched his name into Bankwest Stadium history by scoring the first NRL try at the ground during a 51-6 win over Wests Tigers on April 22.

"Bankwest has been ­really kind to me this year. I love playing there," Moses told The Sunday Telegraph in Suva. "To be playing the nines at home in Parramatta, it will definitely be exciting.

"Some of the boys haven't played there yet so they will get a big thrill and kick. They will feel the crowd right on them and the boys can live it up.

"We can start to focus on the nines now that this PM game has finished. It's going to be really exciting.

Mitchell Moses meets a couple of locals in Fiji. Photo: Nathan Hopkins/NRL Photos
Mitchell Moses meets a couple of locals in Fiji. Photo: Nathan Hopkins/NRL Photos

"New Zealand have a strong side, it's going to be very hard. Tonga has a really good team as well. It will be a good brand of footy and ­hopefully we can get a lot of fans out there to watch us and hopefully put on a show."

Gutherson heads into the tournament in magic form after a three-try haul for the PM's XIII.

"Bankwest was pretty good to Parramatta this year and for me, personally," Gutherson said.

"It should be fun. Hopefully there will be a big turnout. There will be some great teams competing, especially Fiji - they will be hard to beat.

"But we have a good squad with a bit of experience. I hope the fans get behind it, embrace it and there are sellout crowds. It will be great football."

The Australian Nines squad will enter camp on Tuesday. Players were still buzzing after a wonderful week in Fiji.

"It was good fun," PM's XIII captain Wade Graham said.

"We had a great week here, all the boys had a great time. Everyone bought in to what we wanted to achieve off the field with schools visits and clinics."

The players flew out of Suva early Saturday before catching a connecting flight from Nadi to their Australian home bases.

News Corp Australia


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