Despite a late fightback, the Pirtek Parramatta Eels have been beaten 36-30 by the Brisbane Broncos in their Round 23 Holden Cup clash at Suncorp Stadium.


After a solid start with plenty of defensive pressure from both sides, the first try went to Brisbane's Francis Molo after burrowing under the Eels' defence.


Eels front rower Pauli Pauli scored the first of his three monster tries, carrying two Broncos defenders over the line as if they were rag-dolls to earn a try.


Mitchell Brasington slotted in the extras, before Kodi Nikorima countered with a Broncos try a few minutes later.


Pauli's second try came in a similar fashion to his first, with Brasington on-song with his conversions, equalising the score.


A late try to Caleb Timu from the Broncos put the home side ahead 18-12 at the main break.


The Broncos came out firing in the second half, with second tries to Molo and Timu to extend their lead to 30-12.


The Eels then began their late charge, with great tries to Sam Gorman and captain Joseph Ualesi to bring the Broncos within reach.


Pauli Paulo stormed over to score a hat-trick, with Brasington nailing the conversion from right in front to equalise.


Despite continued attacking pressure, the Broncos were too strong in their desperate defence, before scoring a try through Kodi Nikorima, holding out Parramatta 36-30.


Broncos 36 (Nikorima 2, Timu 2, Molo 2 tries, Duncan Paia'aua 6 goals)

def.

Eels (Pauli 3, Gorman, Ualesi tries, Brasington 5 goals)