The Dyldam Parramatta Eels have been defeated 22-6 by the Wests Tigers in difficult conditions at ANZ Stadium in a battle of the west clash on Easter Monday.
With rain coming down over the stadium before kick off, the ball control and handling of both sides was to be tested.
Four penalties in the opening five minutes was an indication of the football that was played, with errors from both teams as they struggled to adapt to the wet and greasy conditions.
The first piece of enterprising play came in the 12th minute from Eels winger Bureta Faraimo, who collected a bomb well ran 50 metres to give the Eels a great attacking set. However Chris Sandow’s kick found Wests Tigers fullback James Tedesco as both teams kept fighting to cross the line first.
A number of errors from both teams continued for the next 20 minutes as the game turned into an arm wrestle, with neither side willing to budge.
The Wests Tigers looked to score as Curtis Sironen made a break just past halfway, however his pass was intercepted by John Folau who in turn, ran back down the field to put the Eels on the attack.
Pressure started building with the Eels earning a repeat set as a kick by Corey Norman was batted dead by Tedesco.
Nathan Peats took it upon himself to break the deadlock as he crossed the line from dummy half for the first try of the game, 30 minutes in. Sandow’s successful conversion put the home side ahead 6-0.
In his 100th game, Pat Richards put up a swirling kick off the kickoff that was too difficult for Will Hopoate to handle, giving great field possession to the Wests Tigers, 10 metres out. The result was a repeat set off a goal line drop out.
It was diffused by Chris Sandow, who read a Luke Brooks grubber before running 30 metres up the field in the 36th minute for some more entertaining football.
A penalty to Wests Tigers in the 39th minute saw the Blue and Gold opposition attack the short side to put their first points on the bored through Kevin Naiqama, taking the score to 6-4 at the break.
The arm wrestle continued in the second half with both sides struggling to crack the defensive line.
There was a burst of excitement in the 52nd minute when Tim Simona found some space through the Parramatta defence before a kick in behind with Luke Brooks chasing but Sandow got there first.
Desperation started to show from the Wests Tigers as they threw the ball around looking for an opportunity to break the Parramatta defence.
Frustrations also became evident as errors emerged from both teams as players started dropping then ball.
It wasn’t until the 70th minute for another point to be scored as the Wests Tigers headed for the line as a pass from James Tedesco found Pat Richards on the wing who was millimetres from the sideline. Richards kicked it back in for James Tedesco who put the visitors in front for the first time all game. Pat Richards successfully converted to put the Wests Tigers ahead by 4.
After a controversial decision gave the Wests Tigers a scrum feed, Pat Richards crossed for his second try of the game in the 73rd minute while he was tackled high by Will Hopoate, giving the Wests Tigers a chance at an eight point try. This took the score out to 18-6 with three minutes remaining.
Pat Richards summed up his 100th game with another try assist, breaking through the field and kicking for Luke Brooks who almost made a mess of it, before finally grounding the ball for the Wests Tigers fourth try of the game.
The visitors defeating the Parramatta Eels 22-6 in front of 35,510 fans.