The Dyldam Parramatta Eels have held out the Sydney Roosters 14-12 in a Round 6 thriller at Pirtek Stadium on Saturday night.
In front of a crowd of 15,312 Members and fans, and the bay of Eels legends who took a lap of honour pre-game, the Eels ran out strongly in the first half to open the scoring through winger Ken Sio.
Sio was targeted form the opening by the Roosters playmakers, sending in bombs for Daniel Tupou on the left hand edge, but the young number 5 absorbed the pressure, and seized on a cut-out pass from fullback Jarryd Hayne to put the Eels in front.
With a crucial penalty going against the Eels just 17 minutes into the half, the Roosters capitalised, sending Sam Moa through the line and over to even up the score.
Maloney’s boot was too precise for comfort, giving the Roosters a 2-point lead early in the match, but the Blue and Gold’s tenacious defence proved key in keeping the scorelin in check.
Hayne’s one-on-one tackle on second rower Sonny Bill Williams denied an almost certain try for the tricolours, while halfback Chris Sandow put in a courageous tackle on the legs of striding winger Daniel Tupou to let his teammates rein in another likely four-pointer.
Sandow was instrumental again with a crisp kick inside the Roosters’ 20 metre line, which Sio collected neatly to notch up a double.
With just 4 minutes on the clock before halftime, Tupou finally broke the Parramatta defence to add a four-pointer and nudge the tricolours in front at the halftime siren.
Trailing by just 2 points after the break, the Eels came out firing, sending fan favourite Semi Radradra over for his ninth try of the 2014 season.
Prop Mitch Allgood tried to follow him, and Radradra dummied for a second attempt at a try, but twice the opportunities went begging, with the video referee disallowing both.
The Roosters continued to batter the defensive line with their heavy forward pack, and the missed opportunities continued to mount for both sides.
Sonny Bill Williams landed on the line but couldn’t ground the ball, while Sandow sent Hayne into open space but the final pass didn’t stick.
And with less than thirty seconds on the clock, the Eels shut down a last set form the Roosters for a welcome 14-12 victory in front of a goal home crowd.
Dyldam Parramatta Eels - 14 (Sio 2, Radradra. Sandow: 1/3)
Sydney Roosters - 12 (Moa, Tupou. Maloney: 2/2)