Eels Roar Home Over Tigers
A dominant second half performance has led the Dyldam Parramatta Eels to a 28-16 win over the Wests Tigers in Round 17.
In a see-sawing game in front of 15,347 at ANZ Stadium, the Blue and Gold came back from a half-time deficit with Semi Radradra breaking a 60-year record scoring multiple tries in five straight games.
The Eels looked to be cruising in the opening 15 minutes, with Eels captain Tim Mannah crossing the line for just his third career try, and his first since 2012.
Chris Sandow flew the conversion through the uprights to give the Eels the early lead.
Three minutes later Corey Norman made a line break, and then followed with some fast passing through Luke Kelly and Sandow, whose offload was played at by the Tigers.
The ball ended in Kelly’s hands who cleaned up the loose ball to score, with a successful conversion kicked by Sandow.
The Eels then eased off the pressure, with Kevin Naiqama returning fire with the first of two tries for the night, with the Fijian flyer finishing a big play to the right from the Tigers to score in the corner.
Pat Richards was unsuccessful with the conversion from the sideline.
Tigers fullback James Tedesco showed his kicking prowess, nailing a left-foot kick to the right corner, which landed beautifully in Naiqama’s hands to score his second.
The Tigers nudged ahead at the end of the half with Pat Richards finishing off some fast ball-work, converting his own try to see Wests ahead 16-12 at the break.
Naiqama was close to scoring his third in the 43rd minute after going upstairs to the video referee, but he was ruled to have lose control of the ball on the grounding.
His opposing Fijian winger Semi Radradra responded with some try-scoring of his own, collecting a high kick from Norman and crashing over for his first of the night.
Halfback Chris Sandow then was the beneficiary of some Semi-Trailer brilliance in the 68th minute, with the winger batting Sandow’s kick back to the halfback who scored a try of his own.
Radradra wasn’t finished, receiving a bullet pass from Sandow to score another try, equalling the NRL’s leading try-scorers for 2015.
The Eels now have their second bye of the season, and will next play the Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs at ANZ Stadium on Friday July 17.
Parramatta Eels 28 (Radradra 2, Mannah, Kelly, Sandow tries, Sandow 4 goals)
Wests Tigers 16 (Naiqama 2, Richards tries, Richards 1 goal, 1 pen goal)