Young Eels Smash Raiders
The Dyldam Parramatta Eels under 20s have scored an emphatic 50-10 win over the Canberra Raiders to end the Holden Cup season on a high and earn a top four spot heading into the finals series.
The Blue and Gold unleashed a frantic first ten minutes in attack, sending five-eighth Ryan Matterson over in the opening minutes from short-range to put first points on the board with a barging try.
The young Eels doubled up in the 7th minute using lock Josh Aloiai to draw defenders to the middle, then playing wide for Halauafu Lavaka to score in the corner from a flying cut-out pass.
Fullback Nathan Davis was at his quickest to step through the Canberra defence and offload to Tyrell Fuimaono for another Eels four-pointer, and his two goals gave the Blue and Gold a 16-0 lead after just 11 minutes.
With limited opportunities with the football for the home side, the Eels held out the first serious Canberra attacking raids, and Captain Ryan Matterson used his size to break the Raiders defence and slip the ball to Zach Dockar-Clay for a try under the posts in the 23rd minute.
At last, with the benefit of a Parramatta knock on, the Raiders seized the moment to send Kilu Pangai barging over under the posts and put their first points on the board.
With just 8 minutes to halftime, John Folau proved too powerful to stop on the right edge, breaking through two defenders to ground the ball in the corner and send the visitors back to the sheds with a comfortable 28-6 lead.
It was deja vu for the Raiders in the first 10 minutes after halftime, with John Folau muscling through the defence again on the right edge to score his second of the day.
The left side attack followed up with Leva Li making a break on the edge, and offloading to Fabian Goodall on his inside to extend the Blue and Gold’s lead to 38-6.
Mitch Barnett added a second four-pointer for the home side, but as the clock ticked down it was too late for the Raiders to start reining the Blue and Gold in.
Winger Leva Li scooped up an attacking kick from the Raiders and ran almost the length of the field to score, and taking advantage of a Raiders error kicking the ball our on the full, Matterson scored his second of the day.
With a strong kicking performance from Nathan Davis, the Blue and Gold hit the half century to come home with a 50-10 victory and a guaranteed top 4 finish at the end of the regular season.
Raiders captain Luke Bateman was taken from the field in the opening minutes via medicab, but returned to the sideline just prior to halftime.
Dyldam Parramatta Eels - 50 (Matterson 2, Lavaka, Fuimaono, Dockar-Clay, Folau 2, Goodall, Li. Davis: 7/9)
Canberra Raiders - 10 (Pangai, Barnett. Mago: 1/2)