Slippery Eels Beat Sea Eagles
The Dyldam Parramatta Eels have earned a hard-fought 20-16 victory over the Manly Sea Eagles to beat them for a second time this season.
The Round 24 game see-sawed in front of 11,018 at Brookvale Oval, with a lot of errors in the wet and slippery conditions and also some very entertaining play.
Captain Tim Mannah was unable to make a return from a knee bruising injury, with Corey Norman named as the team’s leader for the first time.
The Eels began with all the possession, putting on consecutive attacking sets but Manly held them out each time.
In the 11th minute of the game, fast passing from Corey Norman and Manu Ma’u saw the ball end with Ryan Morgan.
Morgan busted through the line and made a break, offloading to Semi Radradra, who scored his first try of the day.
Radradra made history as the fifth Eels player to score 20 or more tries in a season, joining Brett Kenny, Steve Ella, Neil Hunt and Jarryd Hayne.
Incoming Parramatta player Kieran Foran made a line break of his own, stepping around the Eels defence before offloading to Steve Matai who levelled the scores.
Radradra picked up a double after a long-range cut-out pass from Corey Norman hit his hands out wide, with the Sea Eagles defence missing in action.
Luke Kelly was unable to replicate his first sideline conversion attempt, just swinging wide to the right.
Manly winger Peta Hika hit back with a remarkable try on the right edge after picking up a high bomb and crashing over.
Captain Jamie Lyon also missed the sideline conversion, with the scores locked at 10-10.
The Eels pulled off a quick-hands set play with second-rower Manu Ma’u earning the reward off an inside ball from fullback Reece Robinson, finding space in the Sea Eagles defence.
The Blue and Gold led into the halftime break 14-10.
An early second half penalty to the Eels saw the visitors piggy-back up the field on the attack.
Winger Bureta Faraimo stunned the Sea Eagles defence by burrowing over from dummy-half to score on the right edge.
Luke Kelly’s conversion sailed through the uprights to extend the lead to ten points.
Sea Eagles hooker Matt Ballin suffered a knee injury and needed assistance from the field.
The next play, a loose ball from the Eels was kicked from the ground, with Manly forward James Hasson chasing to score near the posts.
Bureta Faraimo suffered a head knock and as his replacement Pauli Pauli was running on - he stayed on the wing for a try-saving tackle on Jorge Taufua under pressure.
Despite the Sea Eagles throwing everything at the Eels in the last ten minutes, the Eels held their nerve to a hard-fought victory.
Parramatta Eels 20 (Radradra 2, Ma’u, Faraimo tries, Kelly 2 goals)
Manly Warringah Sea Eagles 16 (Matai, Hiku, Hasson tries, Lyon 2 goals)