NRL Match Report: Parramatta to Persist
Saturday 16 February 2013 9:24 PM
Parramatta are now focused on regaining some pre-season momentum in Penrith next weekend after going down 41-4 to the Wests Tigers. The Eels travelled to Campbelltown for their second trial match of the 2013 NRL pre-season. Ricky Stuart's men took on the locals minus star trio Jarryd Hayne, Reni Maitua and Ben Smith while facing an incredibly strong Tigers line-up led by the always brilliant Robbie Farah and Benji Marshall.
After a physical opening stanza, the Tigers struck first through new signing Braith Anasta. The Eels looked as though they had hit back with 15 to go via Cheyse Blair on the right flank, only for the final pass to be judged forward by referee Matt Ceccin. Moments later a penalty for a head high tackle against Eels enforcer Fui Fui Moi Moi led to a clear shift in momentum. The Tigers scoring 3 consecutive tries before halftime through Robbie Farah, Anasta (his 2nd for the match) and Marieke Koroibete. The Eels heading to the break behind 24 nil.
The second half begun much like the first, littered with tough collisions which threatened to boil over as Moi Moi and Marshall went toe to toe. While that confrontation was extinguished quickly the momentum that was well in the Tigers favour showed no signs of slowing down. When Jake Mullaney was sin-binned for holding a player down, the Tigers capitalised on the right edge first through Matt Utai then followed soon after by Blake Ayshford.
A timely repeat set gave Parramatta their first attacking opportunity of the half inside the Tigers 20 and they made it count. A quick spread to the left edge through some tidy ball work put Willie Tonga over in the corner. The celebrations short lived with Wests Tigers replacement fullback James Tedesco marking his return from injury with a 4-pointer under the sticks. The 40-4 result gives Parramatta a pre-season record of 1 win and 1 loss with a final trial scheduled for next Saturday against the Panthers at Centrebet Stadium.
In earlier games, Wentworthville went down valiantly in the NSW Cup to the Tigers 28-26, the game marking Jacob Loko's return to football. Whilst in the Holden NYC Cup, a strong performance from Kelepi Tangiroa was not enough to prevent the locals from a clean sweep.