As the Dyldam Parramatta Eels prepare to take on the Sydney Roosters this Saturday night at Allianz Stadium for their Round 23 clash, we take a look back at their last encounter where the Blue and Gold came away 14-12 winners over the tricolours in a thriller at Pirtek Stadium (Round 6, 2014).
In front of a crowd of 15,312 Members and fans, and the bay of Eels legends who took a lap of honour pre-game, the Eels ran out strongly in the first half to open the scoring through winger Ken Sio.
The Roosters playmakers targeted the Blue and Gold wing early, sending in bombs for Daniel Tupou on the left hand edge, but Sio absorbed the pressure, and seized on a cut-out pass from fullback Jarryd Hayne to put the Eels in front.
With a crucial penalty going against the Eels just 17 minutes into the half, the Roosters capitalised, sending Sam Moa through the line and over to even up the score.
Maloney’s boot was too precise for comfort, giving the Roosters a 2-point lead early in the match, but the Blue and Gold’s tenacious defence proved key in keeping the score line in check with try saving defence from Hayne and Chris Sandow denying tries to Sonny Bill Williams and Tupou on two separate occasions.
Sandow was in the thick of the action again with a crisp kick inside the Roosters’ 20 metre line, which Sio collected neatly to notch up a double.
With just 4 minutes on the clock before halftime, Tupou finally broke the Parramatta defence to add a four-pointer and nudge the tricolours in front at the halftime siren.
Trailing by just 2 points after the break, the Eels came out firing, sending winger Semi Radradra over for his ninth try of the 2014 season.
Prop Mitch Allgood tried to follow him, and Radradra dummied for a second attempt at a try, but twice the opportunities went begging, with the video referee disallowing both.
The Roosters continued to batter the defensive line with their heavy forward pack, and the missed opportunities continued to mount for both sides with tries going begging.
With less than thirty seconds on the clock, the Eels shut down a last set form the Roosters for a thrilling 14-12 victory in front of a vocal home crowd.
Dyldam Parramatta Eels - 14 (Sio 2, Radradra. Sandow: 1/3)
Sydney Roosters - 12 (Moa, Tupou. Maloney: 2/2)