The Dyldam Parramatta Eels have finished on top of the Waiheke Pool at the Downer NRL Auckland Nines, after a 24-11 victory over the South Sydney Rabbitohs.
The Eels made a fast start with Luke Kelly’s short kick-off picked up by winger Semi Radradra, putting the Blue and Gold on the attack.
Two plays later and the Semi-trailer scored in the left corner, with captain Corey Norman sinking the conversion from the sideline to put the Eels up 6-0.
The Rabbitohs countered with Bryson Goodwin chasing down a long range kick past Vai Toutai to score their first points, but the conversion was unsuccessful.
Norman showed his class with a sidestep past the Souths defenders, scoring a try of his own to the right of the sticks.
At halftime the Eels were ahead 10-4.
Bevan French scored another try for the tournament after collecting a chip kick off Toutai’s boot and skipping over the tryline.
Cameron McInnes kept the Bunnies in the hunt after scooting over the line in the bonus zone from dummy-half, with a conversion successful reducing the margin to three points.
But the Blue and Gold returned with Vai Toutai scoring on the right wing after some speedy ball movement.
Mitch Cornish added the extras with a sideline conversion.
With an unassailable lead, the Eels kept the pressure on and a long cut-out pass from Norman found Radradra, who scored his second of the match.
The Eels will play in the quarterfinal at 1.55pm NZDT / 11.55am AEDT, against the Newcastle Knights.