The Dyldam Parramatta Eels have been defeated 33-20 by the Canberra Raiders at GIO stadium on Saturday night in the last round of the NRL Telstra Premiership season.
A spirited 14-point comeback in the second half wasn’t enough to keep the game alive for the Blue and Gold, putting an end to Parramatta’s finals hopes for 2014.
Canberra’s young side were motivated from the kick off, and when an Anthony Milford bomb proved too slippery for Eels fullback Jarryd Hayne in the opening minutes, the Raiders seized the opportunity to spread the ball left to centre Jeremy Hawkins to score.
A Chris Sandow 40/20 for the Eels gave the visitors field position, but no points, while Joel Edwards broke the Parramatta defence to find space and offload to Glen Buttriss to score under the posts and increase the Raiders lead.
Tempers flared up in the 25th minute as winger Semi Radradra was penalised for a knock on; co-captain Jarryd Hayne disputing the ruling, and Parramatta earning a penalty goal for the Raiders for his troubles.
Jarrod Croker had no trouble adding the two points from in front of the posts, giving the home side a comfortable 14-0 lead.
It took almost thirty minutes for the Eels to post their first points, as winger Ken Sio slipped through three defenders to score in the corner, but the green machine answered back through Bill Tupou from a Jarrod Croker offload to send the Blue and Gold back to the sheds trailing 20-6.
A slow start let the Eels down again in the second forty as Paul Vaughan hit a hole through the middle to score under the posts, and Josh McCrone finished off an end-to-end set by going it along from short-range to bag his own four-pointer and a 32-6 lead.
Frustration overflowed with Josh Papalii placed on report for pursuing a dispute with Darcy Lussick, until fullback Jarryd Hayne pulled off a sleight of hand to bat the ball forward to his boot, kick through and ground the ball for the Blue and Gold.
Hayne followed up his solo try with an offload to Ken Sio to score his second of the night in the right corner, and thanks to quick hands from Semi Radradra, Corey Norman and Ryan Morgan, Hayne ran in his own second try.
The flurry of points narrowed the Raiders’ lead to just 32-20, but with 2 minutes on the clock, Anthony Milford’s field goal put the match out of reach at 33-20 and officially ended Parramatta’s season.
Brett White was placed on report in the 8th minute for high contact on Eels forward Darcy Lussick.
Canberra Raiders - 33 (Hawkins, Buttriss, Tupou, Vaughan, McCrone. Croker: 5/5. Penalty goals - Croker: 1/1. Field goals - Milford: 1)
Dyldam Parramatta Eels - 20 (Sio 2, Hayne 2. Sandow: 2/4)