Young Eels come back to topple Broncos
The Dyldam Parramatta Eels NYC side has staged a beautiful comeback at Suncorp Stadium to defeat the Brisbane Broncos 28-24 in a high-quality encounter.
Both sides ran hard from the kick off, with Eels fullback Corey Makelim testing the defence with the ball in hand, and the big men from both sides proving a handful.
It was a key penalty on the halfway line that put the Eels in prime attacking position after just 6 minutes, and the Blue and Gold tested the Broncos line, before Captain Ryan Matterson took his opportunity to barge over and open the scoring.
Despite strong attacking sets from the Blue and Gold, Broncos centre Jordan Drew seized his moment to overpower the Eels defensive line and add his own four-pointer.
In just his second match back from injury, Corey Makelim proved equally powerful on the left side as he answered back with a try, but the young Brisbane outfit began to find its rhythm on the back of a strong forward pack - let by Captain Brett Greinke - and its new halves pairing of Jayden and Kodi Nikorima.
After one unsuccessful dive over the try line, Kodi Nikorima followed it up with an intercept for a runaway try, and later set up his brother Jayden for his own try with just 4 minutes left in the first half.
The young Broncos looked flush with confidence after the halftime break, and winger Tom Opacic stepped through a gap in the Eels line to find space and run 50 metres to put Brisbane 2 tries up.
Both sides missed a handful of opportunities to capitalise in attack, with big Eels second-rower Kelepi Tanginoa finally turning on a fantastic individual effort and taking two defenders with him to score and break the stalemate.
Fabian Goodall joined him on the scoreboard, with the Eels line spreading the ball wide for Goodall to score in space.
And although Davis wasn’t able to even up the score with his conversion, Goodall and Davis made up for it easily. The powerful winger found space on the outside and outran his opposite number to offload to Davis and give the Eels a two-point lead.
Davis converted his own try to seal the victory 28-24.
Dyldam Parramatta Eels - 28 (Matterson, Makelim, Tanginoa, Goodall, Davis. Goals: Davis 4/5)
Brisbane Broncos - 24 (Drew, Nikorima K, Nikorima J, Opacic. Goals: Nikorima J 4/4).