Five from Fourteen
The Eels put on a gutsy display on Monday night to down the Melbourne Storm at AAMI Park despite being faced with a growing injury list as the match went on.
Whilst the win was a much-needed two points for the Blue and Gold, here are a few other things that caught our eye in Round 14.
1. Brad Arthur labels Corey Norman as Eels most consistent
Eels five-eighth Corey Norman has been one of the Blue and Gold stand outs in 2015 and Head Coach Brad Arthur has praised the in-form playmaker after the clash against the Storm.
Norman scored a crucial try against the Storm whilst also covering the fullback position in the latter stages of the game after Reece Robinson was ruled out due to an injury.
"Corey Norman at the moment for us is controlling our game," Arthur said on Monday night.
"He takes a bit of pressure of Chris and allows Chris just to get the footy and run and play what he sees. I think Corey Norman at the moment for us is our most consistent player and he's doing a very good job."
Norman finished the game with 14 runs for 122m, 16 tackles and 3 kicks for 70m.
2. Five-Eighth David Gower
As the Eels faced injuries during the clash, forward David Gower showed off his skills in the halves as he filled in at five-eighth for half of the game which included the final pass to Tepai Moeroa who scored the Eels match winning try.
“That’s what we want to pride ourselves on going forward [that gutsy performance]. We are going to compete, no matter who is on the field, the thirteen are going to compete no matter who is in the Parramatta jersey have to play footy and take pride in everything they do and compete for every play and every minute of the game,” Gower said.
“We had players playing everywhere, I was playing at five eighth for half the game, and you just have to do what you have to do to play with pride and passion and I think we did that tonight.”
3. The Semitrailer scores AND saves tries
As the Eels trailed 12-0 early to the Storm, winger Semi Radradra dragged the Blue and Gold back into the game as he crossed for two first half tries.
The winger not only proved to be a handful in attack, but in the final few minutes with the Blue and Gold holding a 4 point lead, Radradra produced a try saving tackle a metre out from the line, securing the two points.
Radradra, who finished with 190m, brought his season try tally to 11 from eight games, moving him into equal third overall on the competition's try scorer's list.
“Semi has been great for the last month,” Gower said of the Eels left winger.
“We missed him when he was out injured but he has been great for us and continuing to improve.”
“That left edge are playing some great footy for us and we need Semi to keep improving because if he keeps going that way, we will give him opportunities that he will finish off for us.”
4. Eels show fight to come away with victory
After suffering narrow defeats over the past few weeks, the Eels were desperate to come away with the two points and the side showed plenty of grit and fight as the Blue and Gold suffered injuries to Reece Robinson, Nathan Peats, Kaysa Pritchard and Anthony Watmough during the match.
“The boys dug deep and we wanted to play for 80, it wasn’t our best 80 minutes by a long shot but we hung in there, played tough and did what we had to do to get the win.” Gower said after the match.
“We weren’t really sure who was playing where, but the boys showed a lot of character tonight to focus on getting their job done no matter where they were.” Tim Mannah said after the match.
5. Inspirational captain Tim Mannah earns third career Man of the Match performance
The skipper was a stand out for the Blue and Gold as he earnt his third Man of the Match performance of his career for his 172m from 15 runs, four tackle breaks and 38 tackles in his 46 minutes on the field.
“I think it is really nice to get the reward,” Mannah said after the game.
“Like Brad touched on, our effort has been there the last few weeks but we have lacked that ability to finish games off, especially last week. It was nice to get the reward for our efforts tonight.” Mannah added.