2022 NRL Round 6, Eels 20 Tigers 21 – Report

Lachy MacCorquodale reviews the Easter Monday thriller between the Parramatta Eels and the Wests Tigers



Parramatta Eels 20
Tries: Clinton Gutherson (13), Isaiah Papali’i (34), Reed Mahoney (51), Marata Niukore (68)
Goals: Mitchell Moses 2 (15, 52)

Wests Tigers 21
Tries: David Nofoaluma 2 (22, 25), Luciano Leilua (10), Ken Maumalo (48)
Goals: Luke Brooks (11), Jackson Hastings (50)

One-Point Field Goal: Jackson Hastings (79)


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1st Half

Surprisingly, the Wests Tigers started with some solid defence, holding out the Eels in the first 10 minutes of the game after some great attempts from the home side.

The Tigers struck the first blow in the 10th minute as Luciano Leilua dragged his way over the tryline after a great short ball from Luke Brooks. The Eels immediately fired back courtesy of a brilliant grubber kick from halfback Mitchell Moses who kicked it with perfect weight for Clinton Gutherson to charge onto and score. The Tigers were doing their best to hold on after giving away several set restarts throughout the first half.

The travelling side shocked Parramatta with two tries in quick succession, both to David Nofoaluma (who had only scored one try this season heading into the game). The first was again thanks to Brooks, who threw an excellent cut-out pass to give Nofoaluma the time and space to finish the try in the corner. The second assist came from the other Tigers half Jackson Hastings, who put up a brilliantly timed bomb with not much height that the winger was able to take comfortably and score the try.

The Eels weren’t going to allow the Tigers to get comfortable and it was future Tiger Isaiah Papali’i who brought Parramatta to within a try of the Tigers. Mitchell Moses missed the conversion, giving the Tigers a four-point lead heading into the break.

HALF-TIME: Parramatta Eels 10 Wests Tigers 14

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2nd Half

The beginning of the second half was rather sloppy, with four errors in the first eight minutes of the half. Three of these came from the Eels which allowed the Tigers to get in good field position: as they had done throughout the afternoon, the away side made Parramatta pay. It was the Tigers’ other winger, Ken Maumalo, who got his name on the scoresheet with his fifth try of the season after Hastings and Daine Laurie combined to get the ball out to the former Dally M Winger of the Year for a tidy finish in the corner. However, given what was at stake for the Eels – a loss to the Tigers – they weren’t about to let the Tigers walk away with the two points this easily.

The Eels immediately responded as Dylan Brown spotted a gap in the Tigers’ defence, due to Zane Musgrove charging out of the line. Parramatta’s five-eighth then charged through the hole before drawing Laurie’s attention as he passed it to Reed Mahoney to bring them within four points of the Tigers.

The Tigers kept pushing the Eels and got oh so close to scoring another as Nofoaluma was held up in incredible fashion by Marata Niukore and his teammates. That man Niukore was the man who would bring the Eels level after a kick from Moses was tapped back by Bailey Simmonsson to Niukore who ran over to score the try. Moses missed the sideline attempt, which kept the scores at 20 a piece.

The two teams traded sets as they both vied to get into field goal position; however, neither team seemed to be able to do so and the Tigers even kicked the ball dead twice. Moses had a chance to win the game for the Eels in the 79th minute but just missed his field goal attempt. The Tigers proceeded to charge down the field before Hastings nailed a field goal attempt from about 38 metres out to win the game on the siren for the Tigers.

It was an incredible way for the Tigers to win their first game of the season and the Eels will be surely licking their wounds tomorrow.

FULL-TIME: Parramatta Eels 20 Wests Tigers 21


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3 pts – Alex Twal (Tigers), 2 pts – Jackson Hastings (Tigers), 1 pt – Mitchell Moses (Eels)

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