Eels Outlast Dogged Cowboys
The Dyldam Parramatta Eels have held on for a thrilling 18-16 win over the North Queensland Cowboys at home at Pirtek Stadium.
After a blow-out win to the Cowboys when the two teams last met in Round 8, Parramatta evened up the ledger in front of a vocal home crowd.
The Blue and Gold came close to the line early as Corey Norman ran into space from a Joseph Paulo ball, but it took a second Paulo offload to Junior Paulo to deliver the first four-pointer of the game.
And the Eels doubled up in the very next set, with a Kenny Edwards offload to Semi Radradra via Jarryd Hayne giving Radradra his 12th try of the 2014 season.
It took 20 minutes for the elusive North Queensland fullback, Michael Morgan, to slip through the defensive line and send prop James Tamou over for the Cowboys’ first points of the game.
With a slim 4-point lead heading to halftime the Eels struggled to finish off their opportunities, with knock-on errors stifling promising attacking plays and less-than-ideal execution stopping the side from capitalising on their overlaps.
Ken Sio grabbed a long pass from Chris Sandow to ground the ball in the corner and give the Eels a 14-6 lead at halftime.
Errors in the cold conditions made for an unpredictable second half, and the Eels edged further in front thanks to a Pauli Pauli offload for a Jarryd Hayne try.
And as Antonio Winterstein and Michael Morgan piled on the pressure with a try, the Eels were forced to keep a 2 point lead as the last 60 seconds of the match ticked down.
Helped by a short kick off and regather by Chris Sandow, the Eels hung on for a messy 18-16 win.
Ashton Sims was placed on a report for a hit on Kenny Edwards in the second half.
Dyldam Parramatta Eels - (Paulo, Radradra, Sio, Hayne. Sandow: 1/4)
North Queensland Cowboys - (Tamou, Winterstein, Morgan. Thurston: 2/3)