Jack Harbidge reviews the Saturday night clash between the Wests Tigers and the Parramatta Eels…
Wests Tigers 20
Tries: David Nofoaluma 2 (70, 74), Fa’amanu Brown (15), Daine Laurie (25)
Goals: Adam Doueihi 2 (17, 26)
Parramatta Eels 28
Tries: Raegan Campbell-Gillard (30), Maika Sivo (37), Reed Mahoney (39), Mitchell Moses (42), Isaiah Papali’i (67)
Goals: Mitchell Moses 4 (31, 40, 44, 69)
MATCH REPORTEmbed from Getty Images
Having come into the game winless in their last four, the Wests Tigers got off to an excellent start against top four hopefuls Parramatta.
Fa’amanu Brown burrowed his way over just 15 minutes into the first half following a string of early errors from the Eels.
Seemingly buoyed from dealing the first blow, the Tigers continued to pressurise the Eels and the pressure told when Clinton Gutherson couldn’t gather a Jackson Hastings chip, aimed for Diane Laurie, who then cleaned up the loose ball to score just to the right of the sticks.
With the easy conversion also chipped over, Wests led 12-0 and appeared to be in control. Back-to-back errors, however, led to Reagan Campbell Gillard diving on a spilled ball off a kick to get his side on the board with 10 minutes of the half left to play.
After a bunker deliberation, Justin Matamua was sent to the bin for a tackle on Mitchell Moses prior to his kick that set up the try. Moses – unscathed – knocked the conversion over and Paramatta began to use their one-man advantage to great effect from the following kick-off.
Their advantage told just under three minutes from half-time when Maika Sivo produced a strong finish to cut the Tigers’ lead to just two points. The Eels were not done for the half though, and they came roaring back with a try on the final play of the half: Sivo kicked back inside for Moses and Reed Mahoney, of which the latter dived over for the go ahead try.
The second half started in much the same vein with Moses sliding through the short side with a dummy to then shake off a couple of tackles and cross the whitewash.
Wests managed to stem the flow for a long period as the two sides traded sets for the next 25 minutes, until Isaiah Papali’i all but put the game out of reach by getting on the end of a deft grubber from Moses.
Wests answered valiantly though, with David Nofoaluma scoring off their next set after the ensuing kick-off. The Tigers’ energy lifted with the lead cut to 12 and it only took them a couple of minutes to cut the margin once more with an almost identical try from Nofoaluma down Wests’ left edge.
The lead was too much to claw back in the final five minutes and the Parramatta Eels held on to a 28-20 win at Leichhardt Oval.
PLAYER OF THE YEAR POINTSEmbed from Getty Images
3 pts – Mitchell Moses (Eels), 2 pts – Isaiah Papali’i (Eels), 1 pt – Fonua Pole (Tigers)
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