The Dyldam Parramatta Eels have advanced to the semi-finals of the Downer NRL Auckland Nines, holding off a Newcastle comeback to win 12-8 in the quarter-final.
The Eels were off to a shaky start with an early knock-on after receiving the Knights’ kick-off, but the Knights were unable to capitalise and turned the ball over.
Parramatta went end to end and a quick shift of the ball out to the right saw Corey Norman put Bevan French over for yet another Nines try and the 4-0 lead.
It didn’t take long for Norman to earn another try assist - this time to Semi Radradra who made the most of the space and ran half the field to score.
A long looping pass form Junior Paulo saw French cross for his second try of the day and had the Blue and Gold up 12-0.
The Knights came out strongly in the second half, with Jaleen Feeney kicking through for Jame Mamo to score early on.
After some end-to-end play, Feeney went himself and scored with just under three minutes remaining.
Newcastle continued to apply pressure but weren’t able to score - despite Tariq Sims coming very close and losing the ball over the tryline.
There was some late drama with Jaleen Feeney sin-binned for tossing the ball into the referee - but it was too late for the Knights to have any impact, with the Eels holding on to advance to the next stage.
The Eels will take on the Melbourne Storm in the semi-final at 4.40pm NZDT / 2.40pm AEDT.