Brendan Wood reviews the Parramatta Eels hard fought 26-16 win over the Wests Tigers at Bankwest Stadium. Here’s how the game went:
|Try – Luciano Leilua (Tigers)
|Try – Maika Sivo (Eels)
|Try – David Nofoaluma (Tigers)
|Penalty Goal – Moses Mbye (Tigers)
|Try – Reagan Campbell-Gillard (Eels)
|Penalty Goal – Mitchell Moses (Eels)
|Try – Mitchell Moses (Eels)
|Try – Shaun Lane (Eels)
|Try – Maika Sivo (Eels)
|Try – Tommy Talau (Tigers)
The Tigers picked up right where they left off last week against the Broncos. They were awarded a penalty in the first set of the game to get early field position and capitalised on their attacking opportunity. Harry Grant ran the ball on the last tackle and threw a short ball for Luciano Leilua who crashed through the Eels defence to plant the ball down in the in-goal. Despite this quick start, the Eels got a six again call in their next set which got them out of trouble and into Tigers territory.
Off the back of this, Shaun Lane delivered a cut-out pass for Maika Sivo who proved too strong for the cover defence of Adam Doueihi, crashing through his tackle to level the scores. However, all the Eels good work was undone in the following set when Junior Paulo made an error coming out of his own half. The Tigers again were able to make the Eels pay. Adam Doueihi finding a wide open David Nofoaluma to score in the corner and grab the lead back. A few minutes later, they got a penalty within range of the Eels line and opted to take the two points.
Following this, Reagan Campbell-Gillard made a break from the halfway line and stepped around Adam Doueihi to score a brilliant individual try for the Eels. Mitchell Moses followed this up with a penalty goal a few minutes later to level the scores once again. Moses was in the thick of the action again just before half time. Inside the Tigers 20 metre line, he noticed Adam Doueihi was defending in the line and chipped a kick over the top. He chased through his own kick and regathered to score and give the Eels the lead headed into the break.
The start of the second half was the opposite of the first, with the Eels coming out of the blocks fast. The Tigers lost Adam Doueihi to a HIA early in the half and the Eels pounced. As a result, Clint Gutherson came up with a well weighted grubber into the in-goal for Shaun Lane to score. After that, the next 20 minutes were all the Eels. They controlled all the possession and field position and made the Tigers work extremely hard in defence to hold on. However, the Tigers couldn’t hold on forever. Clint Gutherson eventually found an overlap for Maika Sivo to bag his second try.
Missing a few players through HIA and fatigued from the defensive work they had just been put through, the Tigers struggled to make a dent in the Eels for the remainder of the game. They had their chances in attack but lacked the composure to execute under the pressure of the physical defence. The Eels held them at arm’s length and went close to scoring a few times themselves but couldn’t get over the line.
The Tigers eventually got a late consolation try when Tommy Talau broke the line with a few minutes remaining and got over to score. Ultimately the Eels proved too strong for the Tigers, outlasting them 26-16 in a very physical contest.
Mitchell Moses was the difference between the two sides and his impact was the highlight of the game. Returning from a calf injury, he was involved in much of Parramatta’s attack and took a lot of pressure off Dylan Brown and Clint Gutherson. As a result, they played with much more freedom throughout the game. Moses was particularly impressive just before half time, when he scored a brilliant chip and chase individual try inside the Tigers red zone to break the Tigers hearts. This play alone gave the Eels a big surge of confidence knowing they were in front of the game after being in a tough physical battle in the early exchanges.
Eels: 1. Clinton Gutherson 2. Maika Sivo 3. Michael Jennings 4. Waqa Blake 5. Blake Ferguson 6. Dylan Brown 7. Mitchell Moses 8. Reagan Campbell-Gillard 9. Reed Mahoney 10. Junior Paulo 11. Shaun Lane 12. Ryan Matterson 13. Nathan Brown 14. Andrew Davey 15. Marata Niukore 16. Stefano Utoikamanu 17. Brad Takairangi
Tigers: 1. Adam Doueihi 2. David Nofoaluma 3. Chris Lawrence 4. Moses Mbye 5. Tommy Talau 6. Billy Walters 7. Benji Marshall 8. Josh Aloiai 9. Harry Grant 10. Russell Packer 12. Luciano Leilua 14. Sam McIntyre 13. Matt Eisenhuth Bench: 11. Michael Chee-Kam 16. Luke Brooks 18. Oliver Clark 20. Shawn Blore