Brendan Wood reviews the Parramatta Eels convincing 35-10 win over the Canberra Raiders at GIO Stadium. Here’s how the game went:
Tries: Jordan Rapana (8), George Williams (24)
Goals: Jarrod Croker (25)
Tries: Isaiah Papali’i (3, 46), Maika Sivo (15), Shaun Lane (56), Reed Mahoney (72) Clint Gutherson (78)
Goals: Mitchell Moses (4, 16, 57, 73, 79)
Field Goals: Mitchell Moses (76)
Player of the Year PointsEmbed from Getty Images
3 pts – Mitchell Moses (Parramatta Eels)
2 pts – Isaiah Papali’i (Parramatta Eels)
1 pt – Clint Gutherson (Parramatta Eels)
MATCH REPORTEmbed from Getty Images
The Eels travelled to Canberra where they haven’t won a game since 2006. They got an early opportunity to change that record when Jordan Rapana made an error on a kick return. As a result, the Eels made the Raiders pay when Isaiah Papali’i crashed over close to the line.
The home side bounced back quickly with a try of their own. Jack Wighton threw a cut-out pass for Jordan Rapana to score and redeem himself after the early error. With the score at 6-4, both sides wrestled to gain the upper hand. The Raiders made a breakthrough with Hudson Young, but the scrambling Eels defence forced him over the sideline.
Off the back of that play, it was the Eels who took the advantage. Maika Sivo went over untouched in the corner when he was the recipient of a cut-out pass from Clint Gutherson. Despite being behind by eight, the Raiders wouldn’t be deterred. After a strong run from Caleb Aekins, Josh Hodgson took off from dummy-half and split the Eels defence. He drew Clint Gutherson and passed to George Williams who finished off the try under the posts.
Inside the last 10 minutes, Maika Sivo couldn’t handle a towering bomb from Jack Wighton and the Raiders were on the attack again. They got the ball to Jordan Rapana, but Blake Ferguson muscled him over the sideline. The Raiders were gifted another chance soon after but couldn’t capitalise. George Williams chipped a kick over the defensive line but Jack Wighton lost the ball over the line trying to score.
Jack Wighton tried another towering bomb, but this time the ball sailed out on the full to give the Eels a late chance. Despite the good field position, the Eels coughed up the ball early in the tackle count. With the halftime siren sounding, Josh Hodgson kicked long for a foot race between Maika Sivo and Bailey Simonsson. Simonsson won the race, but he kicked the ball over the dead ball line to bring an end to the first half.
HALF-TIME: Canberra Raiders 10 Parramatta Eels 12Embed from Getty Images
In a similar start to the first half, the home side made an early error to give the Eels good field position. They forced a drop-out to give themselves another set on the Raiders line. With their second opportunity, they found points when Clint Gutherson put Isaiah Papali’i through a hole to score his second try.
The next 10 minutes involved both sides exchanging sets of six through the middle of the field, neither team able to get close enough to do any damage. With the game in the balance, the Eels came up with a long distance team try. Maika Sivo offloaded to Clint Gutherson who took advantage and put Mitchell Moses into a gap. Moses stepped around Hudson Young and threw a long ball to Will Smith. He passed back to Moses who found Shaun Lane inside for the try.
The Raiders were demoralised after conceding the long distance try and struggled to get back into the flow of the game from there. It took some time but the Eels eventually landed the finishing blow. With less than 10 minutes remaining, Mitchell Moses put up an attacking bomb for Shaun Lane to knock the ball back. Nathan Brown grabbed the loose ball and put Reed Mahoney over next to the posts.
In the following set, Mitchell Moses kicked a field goal to extend the lead to 19 points. To rub further salt into the wounds of the Raiders, the Eels scored a final try through Clint Gutherson, wrapping up the Eels first win in the nation’s capital since 2006 in convincing style.
FULL-TIME: Canberra Raiders 10 Parramatta Eels 35Embed from Getty Images
Bailey Simonsson – concussion
Match Review Committee
to be advised