The Dyldam Parramatta Eels have been knocked out of the Dick Smith NRL Auckland Nines, after a 17-6 loss to the Cronulla Sharks.
Running out to the quarterfinals in front of 50,000 vocal fans at Eden Park, the Eels began strongly, showing the grit in defence that saw them claim top spot in Pool Green.
But the Sharks weren’t mucking around, scoring first in the corner through Nathan Gardner, with an unsuccessful conversion.
The Eels hit back with some slick play from new hooker recruit Nathan Peats, with a sneaky pass to USA Tomahawks captain Sefa Paulo resulting in his crossing the line and converting his own try to put the Eels ahead 6-4 at the half.
The second half saw a few refereeing decisions and luck go against the Eels, with the Sharks racking up the first points through Val Holmes from a fast ball from Wright.
A short time later Nathan Stapleton added to their tally after the Sharks stacked the right edge to overlap our defence.
The boys were tiring, but Corey Norman looked to spark a renewed effort and head over the try line, but an offside call from the referee saw our chances dashed.
Cronulla Sharks 17 (Holmes, Stapleton, Gardner tries, Holdsworth 2 goals)
Parramatta Eels 6 (Paulo try, Paulo 1 goal)