2023 NRL Round 20: Eels 25, Titans 24

The Eels escaped with a tense victory over the visiting Titans in a tense contest on Sunday evening.

Result

Parramatta Eels 25
Tries: (4) Reagan Campbell-Gillard 5th; Will Penisini 11th; Bryce Cartwright 43rd; Clinton Gutherson 66th
Goals: (5) Mitchell Moses 6th, 12th, 35th, 67th

One-Point Field Goal: (1) Mitchell Moses 74th

Gold Coast Titans 24
Tries: (4) Alofiana Khan-Pereira 16th, 30th; Phillip Sami 28th; Tanah Boyd 48th
Goals: (4) Tanah Boyd 29th, 40th, 59th

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Report

The Parramatta Eels turned in hard-fought performance to walk away with a 25-24 win over the Gold Coast Titans on a slippery Sunday evening in Sydney.

The Eels overcame two sin bins to ensure that their last start loss against the Warriors was a distant memory, with Mitchell Moses pulling all the right strings as he guided his side to victory, capping off a great week for the halfback.

The Titans had a last-minute reshuffle, with QLD Maroons fullback AJ Brimson rested from this clash with livewire Jayden Campbell his replacement, while club captain Tino Fa’asuamaleuai reverted back to the bench.

The Eels would excite their home faithful first when Reagan Campbell-Gillard stormed onto a short ball close to the line, with Moses converting the extras.

Parramatta would keep the scoreboard ticking over when a break down their right-hand side saw Will Penisini pick up a loose ball and cross untouched for their second try of the evening. Moses again made sure his side went up by sixes.

The Titans would hit back when speedster Alofiana Khan-Pereira made the most of limited room down the touchline to score his side’s first of the evening, with Tanah Boyd unable to add to the winger’s four-pointer.

Two sin bins to Maika Sivo and Campbell-Gillard saw the Titans have plenty of room to move. Phillip Sami made the most of it when a shift from the Titans’ half saw him find space and step around Clinton Gutherson, speed away to score, and put the Titans within striking distance.

Khan-Pereira would give the Titans their first lead of the night when a shift to the left found him in space for his second just before Sivo returned to give the Eels 12 men back on the field.

An off-side penalty gave the Eels the chance to level the scores at 14-14 and get their full complement of players back in the action.

The Titans would have the last say of the first half with a penalty from directly in front to take a slim two-point lead into the half-time break.

Bryce Cartwright would sting his former side shortly after the break, when he fought his way through contact to score the first try of the second half and give the home side the lead once again.

The see-sawing on the scoreboard would continue as Boyd took advantage of a scrambling Eels defence with a dummy and run, pushing the lead out to four points.

A penalty in front of goal saw the Titans push their four-point lead out to six, with Boyd making the most of the chance.

The Eels would lock the scores up with an incredible Clinton Gutherson finish in the corner. Moses nailed the clutch conversion as the game came down to its dying stages.

Moses capped off a great performance, showing incredible confidence by kicking early in the set, finding his centre in space, and giving his side the field position he needed, before coolly slotting the field goal to give the Eels a one-point lead (25-24) with less than five minutes to go.

The Titans would have two field goal attempts to lock up the scores, but with both unsuccessful, the Eels would walk away victors and put themselves in a strong position to mount a late season charge up the ladder.

Campbell-Gillard could be in a bit of hot water with the Match Review Committee following his act of foul play that saw the Origin forward on report and in the sin bin, while Sivo may also have a case to answer.

PLAYER OF THE YEAR POINTS

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3 – Mitch Moses (Eels)
2 – Bryce Cartwright (Eels)
1 – J’maine Hopgood (Eels)

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