The Dyldam Parramatta Eels Holden Cup side has been defeated by the Gold Coast Titans 40-22 in the first game of the triple-header at Pirtek Stadium this afternoon.
The Eels started on the back foot with possession in favour of Titans early on, which led to Shane Gillam crashing over for his first try in the Holden Cup, putting the visitors ahead 6-0 after nine minutes.
The Eels began to gain momentum when Bevan French put a grubber in for Nathan Davis, which was knocked on by the Titans, giving Parramatta a chance to respond to the try that was just scored against them.
Fullback, Bevan French was amongst the action again, when he set up Atini Gafa who scored on the right hand short side for the Eels to get their first points of the game, trailing the Titans 6- 4 after 15 minutes.
The Eels continued their roll after a cross field kick from Dylan Izzard found Nathan Davis who sent Gafa away to score his second try in two minutes. Another unsuccessful conversion from Davis kept the score 8-6.
A penalty to the Eels saw the home side in good attacking position again, and Bevan French crossed over for what looked like a try but was not awarded due to an obstruction.
The Titans made a break up the field, which left the Parramatta defence scrambling to cover the Titans attack. The Titans were able to cross for their second try of the game through Karl Lawton, regaining the lead 10-8 with 20 minutes left of the first half.
A mistake off the kick off from the Titans saw the Eels able to put pressure straight back, attacking 10 metres out but were unable to find points.
Errors from both sides started to dictate the play, with the Titans dropping the ball close to the line.
In the 32nd minute, the pressure seemed too much for the Titans with the Eels looking to score another try when Abbas Miski put the ball down in the left corner. The Titans chose to use their Captains Challenge and were successful, with the try being over turned as they found Miski’s foot touched the sideline.
The Eels were able to regain those points, after receiving a penalty and good field position. Jack Anderson passed a great short ball to Paula Kaufusi who scored under the posts. A successful conversion from Davis put the home side back in front 14-10 in the 36th minute.
The Titans were the first to score after the break, catching the Eels on the back foot. Karl Lawton crossed over for his second try of the game and with a successful conversion saw the Titans snatch the lead again, 16-14.
The visitors were away again off the kick off, breaking through the Eels defence and weaving their way up the field. They looked to have scored again, but were denied by a great chase by fullback Bevan French who was able to make a try saving tackle.
An error from the Eels gave the Titans another opportunity, starting their set in the opposition 30. The floodgates then opened for the Titans. Shaun Hudson was able to find some space out wide, putting the visitors away and extending their lead 22-14 after 54 minutes.
Some broken defence made it easy for Hayden Schwass to score next for the Titans, taking the lead further out to 28-14 before the visitors stretched their lead, 34-14, through a Tevita Folau try in the corner.
A knock on by Titans in the 70th minute gave Parramatta their last chance to start a comeback, but they were unable to find some much needed points.
With eight minutes left on the clock, Shane Wright from the Titans found some space up the field, dummied, stepped and scored under the posts to put the game out of reach for the home side.
The Eels scored a consolation try with two minutes left when Atini Gafa crossed in the corner for a hat trick.
The Eels left their comeback too late and a minute later, after some great lead up work from the Eels forwards, Gafa was away again and crossed for his fourth try. The Eels managing to close the gap in the end, with the Titans taking away the two points, 40-22.