Craig Cauchi reviews the Dragons victory over the Eels in a perfect send off to outgoing coach Paul ‘Mary’ McGregor. Here’s how the game went.
|13th||Try Clinton Gutherson (Eels)||Eels 4-0|
|14th||Goal Mitchell Moses (Eels)||Eels 6-0|
|22nd||Try Mikaele Ravalawa (Dragons)||Eels 6-4|
|35th||Try Mikaele Ravalawa (Dragons)||Dragons 8-6|
|36th||Goal Zac Lomax (Dragons)||Dragons 10-6|
|42nd||Try Kane Evans (Eels)||Draw 10-10|
|43rd||Goal Mitchell Moses (Eels)||Eels 12-10|
|58th||Goal Zac Lomax (Dragons)||Draw 12-12|
|65th||Goal Zac Lomax (Dragons(||Dragons 14-12|
Junior Paulo came close to scoring the first points and giving the Eels a result for their early dominance. Moses’ grubber kick came off the post but the prop forward was unable to cleanly collect the loose ball before the try line. Poor discipline from the Dragons kept giving Parramatta the opportunity to attack their line and despite holding them back, the Eels finally cracked the defence with captain Clinton Gutherson scoring off the back of a Waqa Blake break. The Dragons were next on the board after Zac Lomax leapt over everyone to claim the midfield kick and throw the ball out for Mikaele Ravalawa to cross untouched. Mikaele Ravalawa had a big couple of moments, starting with a try saving tackle, stopping Maika Sivo in his tracks. The Dragons then worked their way down into an attacking position and this time the winger trampled over the defenders in front of him to score his second of the night.
Parramatta Eels were a lot focused at the beginning of the second half and got themselves back into the lead with Kane Evans carrying defenders over the line. A high tackle penalty during a decent set from the Dragons allowed Zac Lomax to even the match up with a penalty goal. The match continued to ebb and flow but a pass from Adam Clune put Jacob Host into a yawning gap. The interchange forwards pass out to Jordan Pereira didn’t give the winger enough time to finish. Off the next play a kick from Ben Hunt was deflected by an offside Reed Mahoney and – after being denied a try to Kaide Ellis for a knock on – they took the two points to retake the lead. Reed Mahoney came close to putting the Eels back into the lead with the video referee adjudicating that his attempt to ground the ball had made contact with the touch in-goal line.
The match came down to the wire and off a seven tackle set – with under three minutes left in the game – the Eels were close to being tackled on the last. They passed it around and when they finally got to their kick it looked like they were about to earn a repeat set and a final crack at the Dragons line. Instead the two Dragons wingers – who were both damaging all night – combined in the in-goal and marched the Dragons out of danger. From that moment they weren’t going to be run down.
PARRAMATTA EELS: 1. Clinton Gutherson 2. Maika Sivo 3. Michael Jennings 4. Waqa Blake 5. Blake Ferguson 6. Dylan Brown 7. Mitchell Moses 8. Reagan Campbell-Gillard 9. Reed Mahoney 10. Junior Paulo 11. Shaun Lane 12. Ryan Matterson 13. Nathan Brown 14. Ray Stone 15. Marata Niukore 16. Kane Evans 17. Oregon Kaufusi
ST GEORGE ILLAWARRA DRAGONS: 1. Matthew Dufty 2. Jordan Pereira 3. Euan Aitken 4. Zac Lomax 5. Mikaele Ravalawa 6. Corey Norman 7. Adam Clune 8. Blake Lawrie 9. Ben Hunt 10. Josh Kerr 11. Tyson Frizell 12. Tyrell Fuimaono 13. Cameron McInnes 14. Tristan Sailor 15. Kaide Ellis 16. Korbin Sims 17. Jacob Host