The Dyldam Parramatta Eels have defeated the North Queensland Cowboys 48-22 on Friday night at Parramatta’s Pirtek Stadium.
With a slightly reshuffled backline, including centre Tyrell Fuimaono making his first appearance in NYC, the young Eels struck early. Hooker Alec Bush grounded the ball just short of the line after 8 minutes, and Fou Tagilima took his chance on the next set to score just outside the posts.
Both sides made early metres, trading end-to-end sets, until an Eels gave the Cowboys all the opportunity they needed and Rainer Power grounded an Alex Grant kick in the back corner of the in-goal.
But with Zach Dockar-Clay collecting a Cowboys kick to run 85 metres and score, the young Eels took control of the first half, sending Halauafu Lavaka over on the wing, and putting Kelepi Tanginoa in position to barge over for his own four-pointer.
The Eels eased up briefly in the last seconds of the half, leaving space for Yamba Bowie to score, and sending the Blue and Gold back to the sheds with a 10-point lead.
On the back foot straight after the break, the Eels’ defence lapsed in the first two minutes, allowing Viliame Kikau to stroll through and score for the Cowboys, but again the NYC Eels side turned the tide on the back of an intercept.
Second-rower Eric Newbigging snatched an opposition pass and beat two before being pulled down,a and in strong position on the back of Newbigging’s run, the Eels spread the ball to Fabian Goodall who beat three defenders to score.
Halauafu Lavaka was dangerous on his wing, racking up a hat-trick on his right edge, while SG Ball centre Tyrell Fuimaono charged over to score in just his first appearance in the Eels NYC side.
And as the clock ticked down, Zach Dockar-Clay kicked through for Lavaka to score again in the right corner, while big winger Fabian Goodall burst through the defence and passed to Jordan Muna to put the game well and truly out of reach at 48-22.
Dyldam Parramatta Eels - 48 (Lavaka 4, Tagilima, Dockar-Clay, Tangino, Goodall, Muna. Dockar-Clay: 6/9)
North Queensland Cowboys - 22 (Power, Bowie, Kikau, Carey. Jensen: 3/4)