The Parramatta Eels have continued their impressive start to the year with their third win from four games.
Cronulla suffered their second defeat of the season against an energetic Parramatta Eels.
Only five minutes into the game, the Eels nearly crossed through a strong Junior Paulo run. The pressure continued to mount after Mitchell Moses dribbled the ball into the in goal to provide his side with a repeat set. Parramatta would make the most of their opportunities in the opening ten minutes after Sosaia Feki knocked on a cross field kick, which allows Marata Niukore to pounce on the ball and register Parramatta’s first points. Minutes later, Moses burst through the line and nearly sent Jaeman Salmon over for another try.
Cronulla fought their way back into the contest on the back of some strong runs via Sosaia Feki. With the Sharks in good field position, Chad Townsend sent a grubber towards Blake Ferguson, who failed to play at the ball, which allowed Sosaia Feki to score in the corner. With minutes until half time, Josh Dugan dropped the ball in rare fashion off of the kick off, which sent Parramatta on the attack and allowed them to snare a try via Brad Takairangi.
The Sharks scored first in the second half through Sosaia Feki, levelling the score. This would be the Sharks’ final points of the game, as Michael Jennings wound back the clock to score a double and put the match out of reach.
Mitchell Moses’ Form
Moses has rebounded from a horrible 2018 in the opening four games of the year. Last night he was at his best, bursting through the line, throwing precision passes and managing the game. His goal kicking has improved considerably as well, which has only emphasised his importance to the Eels’ success.
Dusting off the Rulebook
Blake Ferguson took advantage of an obscure rule that demonstrated his football intelligence. Chad Townsend drilled the ball towards the line, which meant that if Ferguson played at it, he’d have been thrown into touch. However, a little known rule is that if the ball is moving, and a player has a foot in touch, it is the equivalent of the ball going into touch. The Eels would receive the scrum feed on the back of Ferguson’s smart thinking.
Though Parramatta were good, the Sharks were without some key players in Paul Gallen, Wade Graham and Shaun Johnson. Their performance, with that in mind, was admirable. They will be looking forward to the return of these men.
The video of Bronson Xerri receiving his call up from John Morris did the rounds this week. It was a touching insight into a young man achieving his dream. Last night’s game showed that his coach was more than correct in his assessment that he was ready; the young man ran for 153 metres and looked threatening with the ball. We’ll see more of him going forward.
Parramatta Eels 24
Tries: Michael Jennings (2), Marata Niukore, Brad Takairangi,
Goals: Mitchell Moses 4/4
Drop Goals: N/A
Cronulla Sharks 12
Tries: Sosaia Feki (2)
Goals: Kyle Flanagan 2/2
Drop Goals: N/A
Parramatta Eels: 1. Clint Gutherson, 2. Maika Sivo, 3. Michael Jennings, 4. Brad Takairangi, 5. Blake Ferguson, 6. Jaeman Salmon, 7. Mitchell Moses, 8. Daniel Alvaro, 9. Reed Mahoney, 10. Junior Paulo, 11. Shaun Lane, 12. Marata Niukore, 13. Tepai Moera,. Interchange: 14. Peni Terepo, 15. Tim Mannah, 16. Kane Evans, 17. Oregon Kaufusi.
Cronulla Sharks: 1. Josh Dugan, 2. Sosaia Feki, 3. Bronson Xerri, 4. Josh Morris, 5. Sione Katoa, 19. Kyle Flanagan, 7. Chad Townsend, 8. Andrew Fifita, 9. Jayden Brailey, 10. Matt Prior, 11. Briton Nikora, 12. Kurt Capewell, 13. Paul Gallen, 14. Blayke Brailey. Interchange: 15. Jayson Bukuya, 16. Aaron Woods, 17. Jack Williams, 18. Scott Sorensen.