Parramatta Eels Try Scorers: Paulo, Radradra, Sio, Hayne
Goals: Sandow 1/4
North Queensland Cowboys Try Scorers: Tamou, Winterstein, Morgan
Goals: Thurston 2/3
Parramatta Eels won once again at home as they held on to a 18-16 victory despite North Queensland Cowboys throwing everything they could at the Eels in a desperate attempt to win the game late on.
Hayne returned and was influential as he picked up a try and was a constant threat to the Cowboys who were led well by Thurston.
Parramatta were in control for the majority of the game but let their stranglehold slip late on and Morgan’s try with one minute to go gave them a scare but it was a Thurston missed goal earlier on which ended up being the difference.
Tim Mannah should have opened the scoring but Corey Norman elected to dummy when the big front rower would have been in under the sticks. Junior Paulo scored on the next set though as Norman hit the big number ten with a flat ball and he rampaged through the Cowboys defence.
From the resulting kick off Semi Radradra was in for another 2014 try in the corner when Kenny Edwards broke and gave the ball to the supporting Jarryd Hayne who then put the winger in out wide. Sandow hit the post with the conversion attempt.
It took 20 minutes for the visitors to hit back and it was another front rower who crossed, this time James Tamou was on hand to support Morgan who darted through the Eels defense.
Ken Sio extended the Eels advantage 16 minutes later as he gathered a Sandow cut-out pass well before coming up with a diving finish in the corner to send his side into the sheds 14-6 ahead.
It took less than two minutes for the Eels to get on the scoreboard again in the second half when Pauli Pauli broke from a Sandow short ball and Hayne was on hand to round the fullback and score.
Parramatta were in control for large parts of the second half but Antonio Winterstein put the Cowboys back in the game after he collected a huge cut-out pass from Morgan to score. Thurston just missed from out wide and couldn’t put his side within a converted try.
The Cowboys were throwing everything at the Eels in a desperate attempt to get the two scores they needed and when Lee Mossop knocked on in front of his own sticks he gave them a chance.
They took that chance as Morgan dummied his way over from a short side play and Thurston kicked from the touchline to give the Cowboys a minute to overturn a two point deficit.
It was a hectic last minute and Queensland looked like they were going to do it when Morgan made a break but his attempt to keep it alive resulted in a knock on and the Eels held on to win 18-16.