Eels fall to Titans second half fightback
The Gold Coast Titans have made a second half comeback, defeating the Dyldam Parramatta Eels 38-16 at Pirtek Stadium this afternoon.
The Titans started the game strong and were looking dangerous in attack as they built pressure by forcing a line drop out for a repeat set early, however the Eels defence held strong as the Titans were unable to find any points.
An early chance for the Eels saw John Folau flying down the left side before passing to Corey Norman who had run out of room and threw a ball back for a Titans player.
Down at the other end, Will Hopoate copped a knock while trying to clean up the ball in goal. The line drop out decision was over turned to a penalty for the Eels and Ryan James was placed on report for a high tackle.
The Eels then had an opportunity through winger Bureta Faraimo but an error from the home side led to another turn over as the Eels struggled to complete their sets.
The first points of the game came through Titans half Aidan Sezer who set up hulking forward Dave Taylor, charging up the field and scoring under the posts. Sezer converted the try and the Titans took a 6-0 lead after 11 minutes of play.
A number of errors and penalties made it difficult for both teams to build some pressure and momentum moving forward.
The home side received another penalty in the 20th minute after Chris Sandow was tackled high. The possession starting building pressure as the Eels kept looking to break the Titans defence. They were finally able to cross the line when Joseph Paulo attracted defenders before passing to Danny Wicks who muscled his way to put the ball down for Parra’s first try of the afternoon. Chris Sandow converted to level the scores up 6-6 after 22 minutes.
The Eels handed the Titans a golden opportunity off the kick off when Anthony Watmough’s pass floated across the field and was intercepted by James Roberts who was flying through and scored under the posts for the visitors. The Titans regaining the lead, 12-6.
However, the Eels started to find their form and when Corey Norman made a break short side and offloaded to John Folau they looked certain to score. Folau passed to Reece Robinson who scored in the corner and Sandow successfully converted from the sideline to again level up the score, 12-12 with 11 minutes remaining of the half.
Both sides kept showing positive signs of attacking play but were unable to cross the line on many occasions.
Just when the score looked to be locked at halftime, Chris Sandow threw a short ball to fullback Will Hopoate who crashed over the line for Parramatta’s third try. The home side took the lead 16-12 heading into the sheds at halftime.
The Eels started the second half with a spring in their step and some big defence from Eels centre John Folau forced James Roberts over the sideline in the first set.
While the Eels looked dangerous in attack, errors while trying to offload started to pay a price.
James Roberts took advantage of the field position as he sprinted towards the line for his second try in a game for the third time this year, carrying some Eels defenders on the way. Sezer converted again to put the visitors ahead by 2.
A penalty was awarded to Parramatta after Darcy Lussick was hit high and the Eels came close to adding some more points through Anthony Watmough who was close to the line before Manu Ma’u was tackled metres short.
The home side looked to be the next on the scoreboard, attacking the Titans try line, when a Nathan Peats’ pass was well read by James Roberts who intercepted the pass on his finger tips, before regaining control of the ball and running the length of the field for a hat trick. Sezer converted taking the Titans’ lead out to 24-16 after 57 minutes.
The Titans kept coming at the Eels defensive line, making their way up the middle of the field off fast play in the ruck. William Zillman was the next to find the try line catching the Eels’ defence on the back foot and Sezer successfully converted the try to give the visitors a 30-16 lead.
Desperation for points started to become evident as Sandow’s attempt at a short kick off went out on the full. In the next set, Corey Norman chip kicked for his halves partner who was running through before it was cleaned up by Greg Bird.
The Eels had less than 10 minutes remaining to try and find some points and they were willing to chance their arm.
However, the Titans made the most of their time near the Eels line, and it was none other than James Roberts who used his speed to find some space on the outside to put away his winger David Mead. After the video referee confirmed the try awarded on field, it seemed that the game had been put away 34-16.
The visitors had one last try in them in the 79th minute when Anthony Don found the corner and the Titans came away with victory, defeating the home side 38 points to 16.