Eels Stun Sea Eagles With Comeback Win
The Dyldam Parramatta Eels have stunned the Manly Warringah Sea Eagles with a 22-point comeback to secure a 22-12 win at Pirtek Stadium on Friday night.
An early run of penalties saw the Sea Eagles post first points after just three minutes, swiftly earning a repeat set and capitalise courtesy of Jorge Taufua on their left wing.
But from an early 6 points for the visitors, the match settled into a defensive battle, with both sides moving end to end and enduring repeated onslaughts from the opposition attack.
The Blue and Gold Army were vocal, but the Eels fell just short of the line on more than one occasion.
Holding out the top-of-the-table Sea Eagles for more than 20 minutes, an error from the Eels gave Manly a repeat set and the chance to spread the ball to Peta Hiku for their second try of the night.
And with less than three minutes to the halftime siren, the Sea Eagles seized the chance to take a shot at goal from an offside penalty to stretch their lead to 12-0.
After what must have been a convincing half time address from Head Coach Brad Arthur, the Blue and Gold came out with a new energy and an eagerness to exploit half-chances.
With Manly prop Jason King on report for a high shot on Tepai Moeroa, the Eels piggybacked from the penalty for Chris Sandow to cross the line, only to be disallowed by the video referee for obstruction.
Undaunted, second-rower Kenny Edwards took the ball on the short side from the very next play and muscled his way over the line to put the Eels on the board.
Soon after, Radradra snatched a Sea Eagles bomb from the air and fended off three Manly defenders to stride 95m and score, paving the way for a moment of Eels magic.
Taking full advantage of the repeat set from Radradra’s try, Sandow nailed a 40-20, and from just over 10 metres out, the Eels spread the ball to Will Hopoate to put the home side in front for the first time.
And as the clock wound down to full-time, Sea Eagles fullback Brett Stewart fumbled a high bomb from the Eels, giving the Eels a 10-metre scrum feed, moving the ball swiftly to the right for Vai Toutai to score in the corner.
The four-pointer to winger Toutai put the match well and truly out of reach for Manly, sealing a thrilling comeback win for the Eels at their last home game of the 2014 season.
Jason King was placed on report for a high tackle on Tepai Moeroa, while Ben Smith was placed on report in the 69th minute for a crusher tackle on James Hasson.
Dyldam parramatta Eels - 22 (Edwards, Radradra, Hopoate, Toutai. Sandow: 3/4)
Manly Warringah Sea Eagles - 12 (Taufua, Hiku. Lyon: 1/2. Penalty Goals - Lyon: 1/1)