The Dyldam Parramatta have defeated the New Zealand Warriors 22-19 in an NYC thriller at Mount Smart Stadium on Saturday.
Coach Justin Holbrook’s line up included Paula Kaufusi on the bench in his NYC debut, and with the slippery conditions in Auckland, the game threw up its challenges for both sides.
Centre John Folau was first to put points on the board, reaching through three defenders to score in the 8th minute.
Matterson put the Eels in perfect position for a second four-pointer, dummying and finding space, and with Fabian Goodall just 5 metres out on the next play, the big winger was too hard to stop as he crashed over the line.
With just 7 minutes remaining in the half, the Warriors finally broke the drought, as Nathan Roache offloaded to Jazz Tevaga to score under the posts.
Halfback Mason Lino followed him just 2 minutes later, dummying and running 20m to score, and converting his own try for a 12-8 lead heading into halftime.
It was only right on the siren that Eels forward Brandon Raeli twisted through and over the defensive line to bring the Blue and Gold back onto even footing, the conversion from Zach Dockar-Clay edging the Eels back in front, 14-12.
Scrambling defence from the Blue and Gold limited the Warriors to just one try after the break, as Jazz Tevaga bagged his second for the day, and Lino added the extras.
But when the Eels levelled up the score with a Dockar-Clay bomb to Halauafu Lavaka in the corner, the Warriors answered back with a late field goal for a 19-18 lead.
And with just seconds on the clock, from a Warriors knock on, the Blue and Gold declined the chance at a penalty goal and took their chances with a set of six.
Moving the ball left the young Eels found an overlap, and Leva Li beat just one defender to score the match-winner.
Dyldam Parramatta Eels - 22 (Folau, Goodall, Raeli, Lavaka, Li. Dockar-Clay: 1/5)
New Zealand Warriors - 19 (Tevaga 2, Lino. Lino: 3/3. Ata Hingano: 1 field goal)