Brad Inger reviews the Parramatta Eel’s clash with the New Zealand Warriors. Here’s how the match went.
|4th||Try Maika Sivo (Eels)||Eels 4-0|
|16th||Jazz Tevaga (Warriors) – SIN BIN||Eels 4-0|
|22nd||Try Jai Field (Eels)||Eels 8-0|
|23rd||Goal Mitchell Moses (Eels)||Eels 10-0|
|25th||Try Blake Ferguson (Eels)||Eels 14-0|
|25th||Goal Mitchell Moses (Eels)||Eels 16-0|
|34th||Try Chanel Harris-Tavita (Warriors)||Eels 16-4|
|35th||Goal Chanel Harris-Tavita (Warriors)||Eels 16-6|
|37th||Try Chanell Harris-Tavita (Warriors)||Eels 16-10|
|38th||Goal Chanel Harris-Tavita (Warriors)||Eels 16-12|
|63rd||Try Waqa Blake (Eels)||Eels 20-12|
|64th||Goal Mitchell Moses (Eels)||Eels 22-12|
|67th||Try Hayze Perham (Warriors)||Eels 22-16|
|68th||Goal Chanel Harris-Tavita (Warriors)||Eels 22-18|
|74th||Goal Mitchell Moses (Eels)||Eels 24-18|
After not scoring a single point in Round 16, the Eels wasted little time getting on the scoreboard against the Warriors. After a seven tackle set and some poor Warriors discipline, Shaun Lane showed some excellent ball-playing skills as he put Maika Sivo across in the corner. The Eels continued to look dangerous on attack as they haunted the Warriors defence with their second phase football, but the New Zealand side managed to hold on. The Warriors had a few chances but lacked the polish to turn them into points. A controversial call came at the 16th minute when Jazz Tevaga was sent to the bin for pushing Nathan Brown in a tackle. This swung momentum Parramatta’s way, and they scored two tries in quick succession through Jai Field and Blake Ferguson to push their lead out to 16-0. The half appeared to be all over, but the Warriors decided to put on a show, scoring two tries via Chanel Harris-Tavita in a way that only the New Zealand side can. The first going through all hands as the ball went from left to right until Kodi Nikorima put a grubber through for Harris-Tavita to dive on, the second saw Roger Tuivasa-Sheck break the line and surge up the field before attempting an offload to Nikorima, who nudged it with his boot allowing Harris-Tavita to scoop it up and score. This saw the Eels go into the break with only a slim 16-12 lead with the match well and truly anyone’s game.
Both sides came out with plenty of aggression in the second half but were let down by their hands with both sides swapping knock on’s. The Warriors looked to have scored through Gerard Beale but it was ruled to be from a forward pass, and then the Eels scored, but it was brought back for an accidental offside. After 20 minutes of trading sets in the middle of the park, the Eels finally broke the points drought when Waqa Blake plucked a Moses bomb out the air to score; the Warriors bounced back with a try of their own minutes later when Hayze Perham dived on a Beale grubber to narrow Parramatta’s lead to 4. The Eels charged down the field and after a penalty against the Warriors, increased their lead to 6 with a Moses penalty goal. The Warriors made a last-minute surge, but the Eels were able to drag Peta Hiku over the sideline to hold on for the 24-18 victory, keeping themselves in third place and potential erasing the Warriors slim playoffs hopes.
My moment of the match is the sin-binning of Jazz Tevaga. Grant Atkins has been in the news several times this season for some questionable performances with the whistle, and this match was no different. Tevaga pushed up at Nathan Brown in an action that is seen several times in every game, every week and should not have sent for ten minutes. In fact, it wouldn’t have even been a penalty. The Eels scored 12 points while Tevaga was in the sheds and Warriors fans could plead their case that the result may have been different if that call by Atkins wasn’t made. With a spot in the playoffs on the line, the Warriors really needed some luck to flow their way, and it wasn’t to be this week.
Parramatta Eels: 1. Clinton Gutherson, 2. Maika Sivo, 3. Michael Jennings, 4. Waqa Blake, 5. Blake Ferguson, 6. Jai Field, 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
New Zealand Warriors: 1. Roger Tuivasa-Sheck, 2. Adam Pompey, 3. Hayze Perham, 4. Peta Hiku, 5. Gerard Beale, 6. Kodi Nikorima, 7. Chanel Harris-Tavita, 8. Jamayne Taunoa-Brown, 9. Karl Lawton, 10. Lachlan Burr, 11. Jack Murchie, 12. Tohu Harris, 13. Jazz Tevaga, 14. Wayde Egan, 15. Adam Blair, 16. Josh Curran, 17. Isaiah Papali’i