The Dyldam Parramatta Eels have suffered their first loss at Pirtek Stadium for the 2014 season, defeated 16-10 by the Newcastle Knights on Sunday afternoon.
The Eels suffered from an early defensive lapse, falling for a Jarrod Mulled dummy in attack and giving him room to offload for Akuila Uate to open the scoring.
But the Blue and Gold were quick to capitalise on a half-chance as Jarryd Hayne swept through the line and ran more than 90 metres for a long-range solo try. Sandow’s boot gave the Eels 2 extra points and a slight edge, and the two sides were locked up for a solid portion of the half.
The scrappy game was held up briefly as Eels winger Vai Toutai was checked by trainers for a suspected dislocated finger, and the Knights found momentum to gather a bomb and score through Joey Leilua.
With 8 minutes on the clock in the half, Boyd found space for his own long-range try, sending the Blue and gold back to the sheds with a 10-point deficit.
Looking to claw their way back into the game after the break, Parramatta were under pressure from a string of penalties and starved for the football, and the match looked locked in a holding pattern that couldn’t produce points on either side.
Getting their noses through the line on more than one occasion, the unlucky Eels couldn’t capitalise. It was only a series of swift passes from Sandow to Kenny Edwards, through Willie Tonga’s hands to Semi Radradra that broke the drought with a four-pointer in the left corner.
And while the Eels weren’t short of effort, the points didn’t come and the Knights held on for a 16-10 victory, making it Parramatta’s first loss at Pirtek Stadium for the 2014 season.
Parramatta prop Junior Paulo was placed on report for his tackle on Beau Scott in the 66th minute.
Newcastle Knights - 16 (Uate, Leilua, Boyd. Gidley: 2/3)
Dyldam Parramatta Eels - 10 (Hayne, Radradra. Sandow: 1/2)