Brendan Wood reviews the Parramatta Eels electric win over the Sydney Roosters on Saturday night.
Parramatta Eels 26
Tries: Dylan Brown (8), Isaiah Papali’i (17), Clint Gutherson (21), Maika Sivo (32), Reed Mahoney (34)
Goals: Mitchell Moses (9, 18, 35)
Sydney Roosters 16
Tries: Joseph Suaalii (4, 48), Sitili Tupouniua (26)
Goals: Sam Walker (5, 27)
MATCH REPORTEmbed from Getty Images
A relieving penalty in the opening exchanges had the Roosters on the attack early. The first attacking chance of the game yielded points immediately. The Roosters spread the ball right and Joey Manu setup his outside man Joseph Suaalii to score in the corner.
Following points, the Roosters gave away a penalty of their own to invite the Eels back into their half. The response from the Eels was swift and confident. An inside ball put Shaun Lane through a gaping hole. Lane was dragged down just short of the line, but not before he offloaded to Dylan Brown who strolled over for a try.
The pace of the game continued to increase as both sides gave away penalties for dangerous tackles. In the following minutes, the Roosters also lost Nat Butcher to a HIA.
The Eels pressed forward searching for their second try, with the Roosters on the backfoot defending their try line. The onslaught from the Eels eventually paid off, as Isaiah Papali’i broke through the line and crashed over to put the home side in front.
Not long after the Eels hit the lead, they were over for another try. Again they used Shaun Lane, who hit the line and flicked an offload back to Clint Gutherson who dived over.
Following a forward pass from the Eels, the Roosters took advantage and hit back. Sam Walker threw a contentious short ball to a rampaging Sitili Tupouniua, who charged 30 metres to score under the posts.
After weathering a few minutes of back and forth action, the Eels produced one of the tries of the year. The ball went through several sets of hands, with offloads coming left, right and centre. Finishing off the play, the ball went to the left and found an overlap for Maika Sivo who scored in the corner.
Two minutes later, another scintillating try from the Eels followed. This time it was Reed Mahoney finishing off a try after a crisp exchange of passing down the right edge from Will Penisini and Clint Gutherson.
HALF-TIME: Parramatta Eels 26 Sydney Roosters 12Embed from Getty Images
The Roosters needed to be the first to score in the second half, and they did just that. James Tedesco and Joey Manu combined to put Joseph Suaalii into space. Suaalii scored his second of the night after he chipped, then regathered his own kick after getting a favorable bounce.
With renewed confidence, the Roosters began to push back, taking their intensity up a few notches as they tried to match the Eels. As the game settled into a grind, the Roosters lost another player to HIA, with Egan Butcher knocked-out attempting a low tackle.
The break in play gave both sides the chance to recover some energy. With the game poised at a 10 point margin, neither side would budge as they traded tough sets. The Roosters went on the attack again, just as Isaiah Papali’i left the game for a HIA.
Due to the intensity of the game, there were plenty of penalties, and fatigue began creeping in for both sides. Neither side was able to string together consecutive sets, but the defence remained stout. Inside the final 10 minutes, the Roosters tried desperately to reduce the margin to a converted try.
Despite everything the Roosters threw at them, the Eels stood firm in defence and shut out any possibility of a miraculous comeback. Without scoring a single point in the second half, the Eels held on to record a 10 point win in an impressive tale of two halves.
FULL-TIME: Parramatta Eels 26 Sydney Roosters 16
PLAYER OF THE YEAR POINTSEmbed from Getty Images
3 pts – Junior Paulo (Parramatta Eels), 2 pts – Shaun Lane (Parramatta Eels), 1 pt – Dylan Brown (Parramatta Eels)
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