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Semi Radradra of the Eels during the Round 26 NRL match between the Parramatta Eels and the Canberra Raiders at Pirtek Stadium on September 6, 2015 in Parramatta, Australia. Digital Image by Mark Nolan.

The Dyldam Parramatta Eels have lost a golden point nail-biter 28-24 to the Canberra Raiders in Round 26 of the NRL Telstra Premiership. 

In front of 10,515 fans in wet conditions, the Raiders tied up the scores at 24-24 with a try in the dying seconds, before scoring another try in extra time. 

The game was a scrappy affair in the first half, with the slippery conditions working against both sides at times. 

The Raiders began with more intent, scoring through centre Brenko Lee in the third minute. 

Jarred Croker slotted the conversion, putting the visitors in front 6-0 early on. 

Moments later, Croker looked to have scored himself, but the on-field referee decision was overturned by the video referee. 

The Eels began adding pressure in attack, earning repeat sets but the Raiders’ defence held strong with some try-saving tackles. 

The Raiders had the opportunity for a penalty goal after Isaac De Gois was punished for not rolling away at marker, but Croker’s kick was waved away. 

Right at the end of the first half, an inside ball from Reece Robinson landed in Semi Radradra’s hands, and the winger crossed for his first try of the day. 

The try equalled Steve Ella’s record of 23 tries in a single season, set in 1982 over 25 games. 

The second half began with the Eels first off the mark, again scoring through Radradra, setting a new record and extending his lead as leading NRL try-scorer in 2015. 

Luke Kelly was unable to kick the sideline conversion, with the score 10-6. 

Croker then scored a double in quick succession, converting both tries, giving the Raiders an eight-point lead with 20 minutes to go. 

After earning a repeat set, Eels prop Junior Paulo powered through three defenders to score a try right next to the posts. 

Kelly’s successful conversion reduced the scoreline to two points. 

Sisa Waqa was sent to the sin bin for a profession foul after a 50-metre line break from Ryan Morgan, and the Eels scored the following set. 

A quick pass from Isaac De Gois at dummy half landed on the chest of Daniel Alvaro, who scored his second NRL try. 

Luke Kelly was successful with the conversion, putting the Blue and Gold back in front 22-18. 

The Raiders were penalised for a high tackle on Tim Mannah, with Luke Kelly kicking the conversion to extend the lead to six points, 24-18. 

But the Raiders weren’t finished, with Edrick Lee beating away the Eels defence with just seconds before full time. 

Croker continued his fine kicking form, ignoring the vocal stadium to kick the conversion from the sideline, sending the game into extra time. 

Both sides traded sets, before Raiders’ hooker Josh Hodgson dummied and scooted over the tryline to break the deadlock, 28-24. 

Canberra Raiders 28 (Croker 2, Hodgson, B Lee, E Lee tries; Croker 4 goals)


Parramatta Eels 24 (Radradra 2, Alvaro, Paulo tries, Kelly 3 goals, 1 pen goal)

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