The Dyldam Parramatta Eels remain at the top of Pool Green at the Dick Smith NRL Auckland Nines, despite going down 15-14 to the Brisbane Broncos in their final group-stage game.
Having been guaranteed a spot in the quarter-finals after the Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs’ earlier win over the Sydney Roosters, the boys were playing for a spot at the top of Pool Green - which ended in the Eels’ favour despite the loss.
The Broncos scored first, with Kodi Nikorima scoring a bonus try after zig-zagging through the Blue and Gold, with the conversion successful.
The Eels returned the favour moments later, when what appeared to be a knock-on ended up being hit by a Broncos arm - so speedy five-eighth Corey Norman picked up the ball and scored a bonus try against his former side.
With the game locked-up at 7-7 coming out of halftime, the Broncos scored first again, with Josh Hoffman going over on their right edge.
A few quick kicks for the Broncos saw Ben Hunt score for Brisbane, with another unsuccessful conversion putting them ahead 15-14.
The Eels continued to fight, with Semi Radradra grabbing a floating cross-field kick from Corey Norman, putting the ball down in the bonus zone.
Chris Sandow kicked the conversion to bring the game within one point, but unfortunately there wasn’t time for the Eels to score again.
Brisbane Broncos 15 (Nikorima, Hunt, Hoffman tries, Nikorima 1 goal)
Parramatta Eels 14 (Radradra, Norman tries, Sandow 2 goals)
We take on the Cronulla Sharks at 3.55pm (1.55pm AEDT) in the second quarter-final match. Tune in to support the boys!