Gutsy Eels Grind Out Win
The Dyldam Parramatta Eels have defeated the Melbourne Storm 26-22 with a brave performance despite sustaining a number of injuries.
A try in the final minutes saw the Eels reclaim the lead in front of 10,128 fans at AAMI Park, with the Blue and Gold holding on to end as victors.
The opening 20 minutes were all in favour of the Storm, who came out of the blocks firing, with Tohu Harris receiving a short ball from Blake Green, with the centre (playing in the front row) converting his own try.
Melbourne fullback Ben Hampton, who found himself in the Storm side with Cooper Cronk absent with the Queensland Maroons, found another defensive gap five minutes later, scoring right under the posts.
The Eels lost Reece Robinson early with a suspected cheekbone fracture, with Chris Sandow and Corey Norman both spending time filling the fullback spot.
Anthony Watmough in his 300th NRL game got the Eels on the scoreboard after an incredible offload hit Corey Norman’s hands, who passed to Semi Radradra who scored his first try of the night.
The visitors almost had deja vu with Radradra crossing in the left corner once more, but it was ruled Hampton was obstructed from earlier in the tackle,
But it didn’t take long for the Semi-trailer to complete his double, after a chip Sandow kick found the Fijian flier’s hands on the wing.
The Eels claimed the lead in the 43rd minute after Corey Norman plucked a high ball out of nowhere and scored under the posts, with Sandow successful with the conversion.
But the Melbourne side dug in with a grinding style of football, and as the rain started, scored two tries through Blake Green and Hymel Hunt to take back the lead.
Sandow showed some razzle-dazzle with a line break and offload to Tepai Moeroa, who managed to get the ball to Ryan Morgan who finished it off.
The Eels continued to show a gritty display, with David Gower hitting Tepai Moeroa with a great short ball, who crashed over with an incredible personal effort to score under heavy defence.
Reece Robinson, Nathan Peats and Kaysa Pritchard will all undergo scans for the Eels after sustaining injuries.
Eels 26 (Radradra 2, Morgan, Norman, Moeroa tries, Sandow 3 goals)
Storm 22 (Harris, Hampton, Green, Hunt tries, Harris 3 goals)