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As the sun set over the Cumberland Oval, the Pirtek Parramatta Eels ran out for Round 21 against the Manly Warringah Sea Eagles. Celebrating all things 80s, Parramatta Stadium was flooded with songs from the golden era of NRL.

To celebrate the 30-year anniversary of the 1983 Grand Final when the mighty Eels beat the Many Sea Eagles, Eric Guru Grothe led the legendary players in a walk around the field. Wearing commemorative 1983 jerseys, the Eels warmed up on the field to The Land Down Under.

The entire stadium stood for a minute of silence to honour the late Graham Murray who passed away from a heart attack earlier this week. Commentator Mark Warren: This ones for you, Muz!

Within the first five minutes of aggressive attack, Parramatta had driven the ball down to the Eagles line but lost the ball only metres away. A penalty to Parramatta put the play back in possession but once again it was lost on the Michael Cronin side of the stadium.

The stadium roared when Semi Radradra sprinted the ball down the field and managed to offload as he was tackled. The pass was tackled and then elegantly kicked across field by Ben Roberts. Ken Sio caught it off a bounce but was flipped over the line.

The Blue and Gold Army kept up the noise as the Eels pushed back against Manly. A knock-on confirmed by video referee was ruled a NO TRY for Manly. Followed by a held tackle, the penalty gave the Eels a chance to charge back towards the Manly try line but a kick fell away. Picked up by Manly, the ball passed into the hands of Jorge Taufua who broke away from Sio all the way down to make the first try of the game more than halfway through the first half. Easily converted by Manly kicker Jamie Lyon.

The Eagles kept pushing but the Parramatta defences were up as Radradra pushed another two attempted tries out. Brilliant flick passes between Radradra, Willie Tonga, Roberts and Matt Keating got the Eels close to another try, but was again lost within metres of the try line.

A changeover to Manly Sea Eagles saw David Williams ground the ball but Lyon missed the kick under the din of the Blue and Gold army and the scoreboard settled at 10-0.

A beautiful high kick off a Roberts boot gave the Eels another 6 but the penalty went back to Manly and Justin Horo managed to ground the ball from within a tackle. A successful conversion ended half time at 16-0.

Back from half time, Daly Cherry-Evans scored within the first ten minutes. Some aggressive defence from Darcy Lussick held off the Eagles but they dominated possession of the ball in the second half. Eventually Brett Stewart was able to find a gap to make the 5000th try for the Manly Warringah Sea Eagles.

As the Eagles kept moving faster, Williams managed another try. Shortly after, Stewart picked up a wayward pass to run the ball down, at the last moment offloading to Taufua, who scored again for the Manly side.

With only 12 minutes left, the Parramatta fans went crazy over a Semi Radradra try; their final strike that said they werent going down without a fight.


Manly< 40 (Tries: Taufua 2, Williams 2, Horo, Cherry-Evans, Stewart. Goals: Lyon 5/6)


Parramatta 6 (Tries: Radradra. Goals: Mullaney)
Acknowledgement of Country

Parramatta Eels respect and honour the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.

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