The Dyldam Parramatta Eels have scraped back to defeat the St George Illawarra Dragons NYC side 32-30 in a dramatic match up to start Saturday’s triple-header at Pirtek Stadium.
The Dragons staged a 24-point comeback, but a conversion in the final minute from Eels’ fullback Nathan Davis took the lead back and sealed the win for the Blue and Gold.
The Blue and Gold showed their intentions early in the half, seizing on a repeat set in the Dragons half to spread the ball left and let winger Fabian Goodall step and charge over the line and open the scoring.
And after just 15 minutes of play, lock Jeff Markus saw the space in the St George Illawarra defensive line and stepped through to ground the ball to the left of the goal posts.
The young Dragons answered back with some sharp passing on their right hand edge and Jack Bird added four points to narrow the Eels’ lead.
But the Blue and Gold were able to capitalise on three repeat sets to send the ball from Davis to Halauafu Lavaka to ground it in the corner and score.
Thanks to an 85m intercept try to Goodall, the young Eels headed to the sheds at halftime with a comfortable 20-6 lead.
In the second 40 minutes the Dragons NYC side began to find their rhythm and their kicking game. Forcing a repeat set with a kick from Drew Hutchison, the Red V handed the ball to Wesley Lolo who proved to strong to stop near the line.
Dee Jay Harris powered over in the right hand corner to join him on the scoreboard and, after a clean ball from Adam Clune, Wes Lolo scored his second of the day.
Thanks to the pinpoint kicking of Sitiveni Moceidreke and Hayden McCrae, the Dragons hit the front with a 24-20 lead.
But when Wesley Lolo charged past two defenders for a hat trick, Nathan Davis teamed up with Zach Dockar-Clay and answered back for the Eels with a try under the posts.
John Folau followed him over on the back of a repeat set and evened the match at 30-30, and with just 60 seconds on the clock Davis converted for a 32-30 victory.
Dyldam Parramatta Eels - 32 (Goodall 2, Markus, Lavaka, Davis, Folau. Davis: 4/6)
St George Illawarra Dragons - 30 (Lolo 3, Bird, Harris. Moceidreke: 1/1, McCrae: 4/4)