Eels Comeback Not Enough in NYC
The Dyldam Parramatta Eels Holden Cup side has been outlasted 38-26 by the Sydney Roosters in Round 23 at Allianz Stadium.
Despite a big second-half comeback from the Blue and Gold, the early lead to the home side proved too much to overcome.
The Roosters struck first with former Eel Joey Lussick burrowing over to get the opening points against his former club.
Fullback Latrell Mitchell’s conversion sailed through the uprights, giving the home side the early lead.
After piling on pressure and earning repeat sets, Mitchell bagged a try of his own in the same left edge of the field, converting his own try to extend the lead.
Roosters centre Joseph Manu busted through the Eels defence in the 25th minute, offloading the ball to five-eighth Connor Watson who crashed over in the left corner.
Mitchell again nailed the conversion from the sideline.
The Eels didn’t put their heads down, with multiple attacking options falling agonisingly short.
Hooker Josh Grant was denied a try after a 50-metre kick chase, and fullback Bevan French was also deemed held up after dancing to the right edge and looking to have scored.
The young Eels maintained their heads, with halfback Zach Dockar-Clay firing a bullet pass to Jeff Markus who crossed five minutes before halftime.
Dockar-Clay took up kicking duties and converted the try, heading into the break trailing 18-6.
The Roosters extended their lead in the second half with Watson scoring his second in the 44th minute.
Mitchell followed suit with his second of the night after an impressive team try up the length of the field.
Watson made it a hat-trick for the tricolours on the left wing with Mitchell missing his first conversion of the night, making the lead 34-6.
But then the Eels’ comeback was on.
Prop Brandon Raeli made a barnstorming run through the Roosters’ defence, crossing in the 59th minute.
Dylan Izzard’s fifth-tackle kick reached winger Atini Gafa, who knocked the ball back to Nathan Davis to score.
Speedy fullback Bevan French showed his pace, making a big line break and crossing the white stripe shortly after, reducing the lead to just 12 points.
The home side showed their mettle, with Mitchell putting the scoreline out of reach with another try to bring up a hat-trick of his own.
A late try to Tui Oloapu brought some more respect to the scoreline, but the Roosters went home victors.
Next week the Eels take on the Sea Eagles at Brookvale Oval, kick-off is at 1.45pm.
Sydney Roosters 38 (Watson 3, Mitchell 3, Lussick tries, Mitchell 5 goals)
Parramatta Eels 26 (Markus, Raeli, Davis, French, Oloapu tries, Dockar-Clay 3 goals)