Brad Inger reviews the Round 18 clash between the Eels and the Warriors at CommBank Stadium; here’s how the match went.
Parramatta Eels 28
Tries: Waqa Blake 11, 21, Isaiah Papalii 53, Clint Gutherson 56
Goals: Mitch Moses 23, 55, 57
New Zealand Warriors 18
Tries: Marcelo Montoya 32, Ed Kosi 75, Jack Murchie 78
Goals: Shaun Johnson 34, 76, 78
MATCH REPORTEmbed from Getty Images
The Eels dominated possession in the early stages earning several repeat sets and applying plenty of pressure on the Warriors before crossing in the eleventh minute via Waqa Blake.
The Warriors looked to have scored when Chanel Harris-Tavita dived on a loose ball; however, the bunker deemed that Reece Walsh placed a fingertip on the ball first. The New Zealand side was starting to build pressure, but a Shaun Johnson cutout pass was intercepted by Maiko Sivo, who ran forty metres before sending Blake over for his second try of the night.
It took thirty minutes, but the Warriors got themselves on the scoreboard after a dubious knock-on call went against the Eels; the New Zealand side quickly shifted the ball to the left to Adam Pompey, who sent Marcelo Montoya over in the corner.
The Warriors survived a poor start to the second half after a Walsh error handed Parramatta good field position, but Montoya put a bone-rattling tackle on Clint Gutherson that saw him lose possession and his lunch.
After several errors, Parramatta found themselves in good field position, and the Warrior could not withstand the barrage any longer when Isaiah Papalii crashed his way over the line; the Eels were not done scoring on the next set after a Montoya error saw Bailey Simonsson flick the ball blindly back on the inside for Gutherson to dive on, extending their lead to sixteen.
Walsh attempted a wayward 40/20 on the third tackle, and the Eels made the Warriors pay for it after Gutherson passed the ball to Dylan Brown, who, after evading the Warriors defence, got the ball to Sivo who stormed his way to the try line from sixty metres out.
The New Zealand side showed some signs of life as the game was coming to an end scoring back-to-back tries through Ed Kosi and Jack Murchie to make the score look more respectable but were left rueing some poor attacking options as the Eels held on for a 28-18 victory.
PLAYER OF THE YEAR POINTSEmbed from Getty Images
3 pts – Isaiah Papalii (Eels), 2 pts – Tohu Harris (Warriors), 1 pt – Reed Mahoney (Eels)
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