Young Eels outclass Dragons in tough encounter
The Dyldam Parramatta Eels Holden Cup side has notched up an impressive Round 16 win over the 3rd-placed St George Illawarra Dragons at Pirtek Stadium.
The Eels came into this game on a high after a solid win over the Storm the previous week and looked positive in the early stages with a chance down the right wing, but the last pass from Dockar-Clay to Atini Gafa was unfortunately ruled forward.
The Dragons were the first team to score, as Tom Carr dived over out wide following some quick passing to the right.
Zach Dockar-Clay, playing at halfback, looked menacing during the first half, showing off his step to make big metres down the middle of the field.
A crafty kick from five-eighth Michael Doolan found Abbas Miski on the left wing, levelling the scores in the 19th minute.
A sideline conversion from Nathan Davis put the Eels in front, 6-4.
It was Dockar-Clay again in the 29th minute who hit and spun out of the Dragon’s defence to dive over beside the posts and extend the lead to 10-4.
Another successful conversion from Davis gave the Eels the lead of 12-4, which remained the half-time score.
The second half became an arm wrestle as both teams attacked and defended well.
The Eels challenged the line after a mistake from the Dragons in their own territory but Bevan French was denied by frantic Dragons goal-line defence.
An attacking raid down the left from the Dragons was halted as Nathan Davis scooped in a pass destined for the Dragons winger and sprinted 60 metres down the field.
Solid defence from the Eels on their try-line kept the Dragons at bay with Miski protecting his wing well.
The Dragons eventually made an incisive break through Tom Carr in the 66th minute setting up Matthew Dufty for the try.
The conversion was missed from almost in front and the Eels remained a try ahead.
The Eels’ positive attack was rewarded with a late try to Tui Oloapu in the left corner and Nathan Davis put the cherry on top with a pinpoint kick from the sideline to give the Parramatta Eels their second win on the trot with an 18 - 8 victory.
Eels 18 (Miski, Dockar-Clay, Oloapu tries, Davis 3 goals)
Dragons 8 (Carr, Duffy tries)