Eels stand by Smith

Parramatta will stand by coach Brian Smith despite his success record having dropped alarmingly to 44 per cent since his $1.5 million contract extension three years ago.

Prior to re-signing until the end of the 2006 NRL season, Smith coached the Eels to 89 wins and five draws from 135 matches.

His success rate of 68 per cent was among the best in the business, justifying his $375,000-a-year contract, one of the highest pay packets in the game.

Since Parramatta's record-breaking - but ultimately unsuccessful - 2001 season, Smith's Eels have won just 25 matches from 59 starts.

That equates to approximately $36,000 a win.

In contrast, coinciding with Smith's steady decline, the Sydney Roosters' Ricky Stuart has become the most successful coach in the NRL, claiming a 73 per cent winning record.

After reaching six straight finals series under Smith, including the 2001 grand final as runaway minor premiers, the Eels missed the playoffs last season and are languishing in 10th position this year after four successive defeats.

Fed-up fans booed the Eels off Parramatta Stadium following the 37-6 surrender to the depleted Dragons on Friday night after screaming abuse at the coach's box throughout the match.

"Sack the coach, Brian Smith is the one that does all the player retention and buying new ones," one dissatisfied supporter wrote on a league website on Saturday.

All four of Parramatta's recent losses have come at home.

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