Photo: Grant Trouvile © NRL photos

Young Eels Hold out Fast-finishing Rabbitohs

The Dyldam Parramatta Eels Holden Cup side has defeated the South Sydney Rabbitohs Holden Cup team on Friday night in a thrilling 28-26 victory at Pirtek Stadium.

Bevan French set up his fullback Nathan Davis for the first try of the match to put the home side on the board. Davis was unsuccessful with the conversion, which saw the Eels lead by 4-0 in the 4th minute.

The Eels in attack were causing problems for Souths with a number of penalties heading the way of the home side in the first ten minutes.

Parramatta’s momentum continued as fullback Nathan Davis kept in play a 40/20 kick in the 18th minute.

The Rabbitohs hit back soon after when winger Josh Ellison intercepted a pass from Zach Dockar-Clay and ran 90 metres to score in the corner. With an unsuccessful kick at goal, the score remained locked at 4-4.

The Eels were back in front in the 28th minute with a try in the corner by Atini Gafa, with Parramatta leading 10-4 in the 29th minute.

Parramatta were back on the scoreboard minutes later when Bevan French made a break down the left wing before side stepping his way to the try line. Davis successfully converted, taking the score to 16-4.

In the 37th minute, the Eels crossed the line through Abbas Miski, but it was awarded a no try as a result of a forward pass.

Souths fullback, Irae Simone dummied and went himself right on the stroke of halftime to keep his side in the contest. Jordie Hedges converted the try, with the Eels heading into the sheds ahead 16-10 at half time.

A mixed beginning to the second half saw both sides struggling to find the try line.

In the 58th minute, a Zach Dockar-Clay grubber kick into the in goal saw Bevan French score his second for the night, this time under the posts. Another successful conversion from Davis put the Eels 22-10 in front.

Souths hit straight back when Jordie Hedges offloaded to Tulsa Saumamao to score to the right of the posts, which took the score to 22-16 after another successful conversion.

After a line drop out and repeat set, South Sydney scored in the 68th minute to level the score 22-22 with just over ten minutes left on the clock.

An error from Souths, not finding touch off a penalty, saw the Eels use the great field position to their advantage and score in the corner through fullback Nathan Davis in the 75th minute. Davis successfully converted his own try from the corner to put the Eels a converted try ahead with 3 minutes left on the clock to almost put the game out of reach for the visitors, 28-22.

With six seconds left on the clock, Souths fed a scrum and attacked the short side, when John Olive made a dash down the sideline before kicking and regathering to keep his side alive in the dying seconds of the game. With a vocal Parramatta crowd in his ear, Jordie Hedges was unsuccessful with the sideline conversion, and the Eels held on to win 28-26.

Dyldam Parramatta Eels - 28 (Davis 2, Gafa, French 2. Davis: 4/5)

South Sydney Rabbitohs - 26 (Ellison, Simone, Saumamao, Whitelaw, Olive. Hedges: 3/5)