Young Eels bucked by Broncos
The Dyldam Parramatta Eels have slumped to a 50-28 loss to the Brisbane Broncos in Under 20s Holden Cup at Suncorp Stadium.
Coach Steve Hales made a few changes to the side named earlier in the week, with Josh Aloiai and Jordan Muna ruled out bringing Tui Oloapu back in, with Jack Morris moving from the bench into the starting side, with Aaron Pene remaining on the bench.
The Eels were very strong in attack in the opening 15 minutes, with three tries to boot off some smart ball-play and footwork.
Halfback Bevan French showed his agility just three minutes into the game, with a smart dummy before slicing through the Broncos defence.
Just five minutes later, rangy centre Nathan Davis made a strong line-break down the left edge off the back of some speedy passes from his teammates.
Late addition Tui Oloapu crashed over after the Broncos gave away some field position with a penalty for staying too long in the tackle.
Davis showed some uncharacteristic poor form kicking conversions, which kept the score at 12-0 after 13 minutes.
The Broncos upped the ante, returning fire with a flurry of tries from some repeated sets of attacking pressure.
Brisbane halfback Ash Taylor dummied and found a hole on the left side, converting his own try.
Fullback Paul Byrnes, centre Jordan Drew and winger Jonus Pearson added to the Broncos’ tally with tries of their own, all on their left attacking wing.
Eels’ winger Abbas Miski put a stop to the Broncos’ momentum, following an 80metre running effort to dive over in the corner to score.
Another try to the home side’s winger Pearson, and the halftime score was 28-16 to the Broncos.
The Broncos began the second half strongly, with Taylor making a massive 50 metre line break but a big tackle by Bevan French held him up close to the line, but Drew was able to finish the work and score with Taylor adding the extras.
Pearson scored his third for the night, with the conversion putting the margin at 24 points, before some Bevan French magic score a double of his own.
The first off a big kick from Zach Dockar-Clay, the second from his own boot with a sly chip and chase over the Broncos defence, scoring under the post and bringing the margin to just 12 points.
Two late tries to Drew and halfback Jayden Nikorima saw the lead extend to 50-28.
Broncos 50 (Drew 3, Pearson 3, Taylor, Byrnes, Nikorima tries, Taylor 7 goals)
Eels 28 (French 3, Davis, Oloapu, Miski tries, Davis 2 goals)