The Dyldam Parramatta Eels have suffered a 32-12 loss to the South Sydney Rabbitohs at home at Pirtek Stadium in Round 19 of the NRL Telstra Premiership.
It was a tightly contested affair in the first-half that saw the Souths head into the break with a 10-6 lead, but a poor defensive display from Parramatta in the second brought the Eels undone.
It was 18-year-old Tepai Moeroa who scored the first try of the match, making an impact in his first ever starting appearance for the Parramatta Eels. The big second-rower was able to burst over the line from close range, and with Sandow converting easily, the Eels had a 6-0 lead in the opening nine minutes.
With early injury concerns for Sam Burgess (shoulder) and Ben Lowe (concussion), the Rabbitohs were down two men and facing an Eels outfit with gathering momentum.
In the 25th minute the Eels were defending back-to-back penalties and were unable to hold out Souths, with Lote Tuqiri scoring the first try for the Rabbitohs in the right corner.
From what appeared to be some Chris Sandow magic after kicking a 40/20 towards the end of the first half, the resulting set was intercepted by Dylan Walker who was able to gain 80 metres.
In the dying moments of the first half, rugby-bound Souths forward Sam Burgess was able to cross the line ten in from touch and give the Rabbitohs a 10-6 lead heading into half-time.
When Eels winger Vai Toutai was unlucky to score in the right corner early in the first half, the Rabbitohs were able to capitalise on Parramatta’s misfortune through Alex Johnston.
Soon after with a 16-6 lead, back-to-back penalties for the Souths tested the Eels defensive capabilities until Joe Picker crossed the line though it was ruled no-try after a second-look revealed a blatant shepherd.
Parramatta were on the comeback when a cross field kick from Corey Norman was deceptively left by captain Jarryd Hayne, landing directly in the hands of Joseph Paulo to fall over the line – Sandow slotted the easy conversion and brought the match back within four points, trailing 16-12 with 22 minutes to play.
A quick succession of tries for the Rabbitohs within the last ten minutes of play for Burgess, Johnston and Turner sealed the victory for the visitors as they ran out 32-12 winners at Pirtek Stadium.
Dyldam Parramatta Eels - 12 (T Moeroa, Joseph Paulo tries; Sandow 2/2 goals)
South Sydney Rabbitohs - 32 (S Burgess 2, A Johnston 2, L Tuqiri, K Turner tries; A Reynolds 2/4, I Luke 2/2 goals)