NRL Round 23: Eels 26, Dragons 20

Parramatta were looking to move into equal eighth place when they hosted St George-Illawarra Dragons at CommBank Stadium.

Result

Parramatta Eels 26
Tries: Arthur Miller-Stephen 8th; Bryce Cartwright 11th, 70th; Sean Russell 58th; Junior Paulo 63rd
Goals: Mitch Moses 12th, 64th, 71st

St George-Illawarra Dragons 20
Tries: Mikaele Ravalawa 19th, 25th, 38th, 49th
Goals: Zac Lomax 21st, 39th

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Report

Parramatta has kept their top eight final hopes alive by fighting back to claim victory over the St George-Illawarra Dragons, winning 26-20 at CommBank Stadium.

After racing out to a ten-point lead in the first 11 minutes, the Eels lost their momentum and allowed the Dragons to make a comeback. Mikaele Ravalawa proved to be a handful for rookie winger Arthur Miller-Stephen, scoring a hat-trick in a 19-minute period. The Dragons took the lead at halftime, with the score standing at 16-10.

When Ravalawa scored his fourth try nine minutes into the second half, the Eels faced an uphill battle to keep their season alive. The Dragons had a chance to put away the game when Jacob Liddle on his way to the line had the ball jolted from his grasp by Clint Gutherson in a play that would prove a turning point for the game.

A long-range kick by Mitch Moses off a penalty saw the Eels start inside the Dragons’ twenty. They would come up trumps straight away with Sean Russell scoring out wide after the Eels had no momentum in the set.

An error by Ben Hunt on the last tackle saw the Eels start thirty metres from the Dragons’ line. Shortly after, Ryan Matterson put Junior Paulo away for a try to level the scores at 20-all.

When Ryan Couchman was placed on report for a high shot on Moses, the Eels took the lead with Dylan Brown’s kick knocked on by Billy Burns in the contest, landing in Bryce Cartwright’s arms to score his second.

Parramatta held on in the final stages for a comeback 26-20 win.

Cartwright turned back the clock with 158 metres, 4 offloads and 39 tackles to lead the Eels to an important win.

PLAYER OF THE YEAR POINTS

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3 – Bryce Cartwright (Eels)
2 – Mikaele Ravalawa (Dragons)
1 – Clint Gutherson (Eels)

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