The Dyldam Parramatta Eels were unable to withstand a Sydney Roosters comeback at Allianz Stadium on Saturday night, beaten 28-18 by the Premiership favourites.
The Eels were first on the board in the 11th minute when Nathan Peats set up his captain, Tim Mannah, to charge through to score under the posts. Luke Kelly successfully converted to put the Eels in the lead 6-0.
It wasn’t long before the Roosters struck back when Michael Jennings put his winger Daniel Tupou away, as he made a break down the wing before passing in to James Maloney who crossed for the tricolours. Maloney was unsuccessful with the conversion and the score remained 6-4 in favour of the Eels.
After a couple of back to back sets on their goal line, the Eels were able to hold off the Roosters and put the pressure back on at the other end of the field. An error from fullback Roger Tuivasa-Sheck saw the Eels have an attacking set 10 metres out. The Eels were in for their second try off a set play which saw winger Semi Radradra cross for his first of the night. Kelly added the extras as the Eels led 12-4 after 24 minutes.
The Eels defence continued to hold as Michael Jennings looked to have cross, but a closer look by the video referee confirmed the tackle from Reece Robinson and Luke Kelly forced a lose carry.
The momentum continued with the visitors when Manu Ma’u busted through the field before setting up Corey Norman who scored just wide of the posts. Kelly converted, extending Parramatta’s lead 18-4 in the 27thminute.
An error from the Eels saw the Roosters start their set dangerously close to the try line, however another no try was ruled as the strong Eels defence saw them escape yet another attacking opportunity from the Roosters.
A well-controlled end to the half and some strong tackles in defence from Semi Radradra against Blake Ferguson saw the Eels hold onto their 18-4 lead at the halftime break.
The Roosters were the first to score after the break when Mitchell Pearce put up a bomb that was batted back by Tuivasa-Sheck, picked up by Waerea-Hargreaves who threw it wide to Aubusson as he crossed in the corner. Maloney converted from the sideline and took the score to 18-10 with half an hour left of play.
Kane Evans was next to make a break for the Roosters, gaining his side some good field position. The next try came off the back of that as Tuivasa-Sheck sidestepped his way over the try line. Maloney converted, taking the score to 18-16.
For the next 15 minutes of play, the Eels kept turning up in defence as they shut the Roosters down and then controlled their own sets in attack, all without their captain Tim Mannah who came off towards the end of the first half and didn’t return onto the field.
However, the Roosters finally cracked Parramatta’s defence in the 71st minute, when Jared Warea-Hargreaves steam rolled past the line to score under the posts. With a successful conversion from right in front, the Roosters took the lead 22-18 with eight minutes remaining.
The home side sealed the victory when their captain Jake Friend scored in the 78th minute. Maloney added the extras as the Roosters ran away with the win 28-18.
Sydney Roosters - 28 (Maloney, Aubusson, Tuivasa-Sheck, Waerea-Hargreaves, Friend. Maloney 4/5)
Dyldam Parramatta Eels - 18 (Mannah, Radradra, Norman. Kelly 3/3)