Eels downed in season opener
The Dyldam Parramatta Eels have been defeated 17-4 in their season opening clash against the Brisbane Broncos in front of a crowd of 17,324 at at Parramatta's Pirtek Stadium.
There was a buzz in the air as rugby league returned to Pirtek Stadium, and an early break from new recruit Michael Gordon in the third minute had the crowd chanting as the Blue and Gold army welcomed their team back.
A 40/20 from the Broncos gave the visitors a good attacking opportunity but strong defence from the Eels forced a drop ball.
A few minutes later Semi Radradra looked likely to score but was unable to hold onto the ball on his run to the line.
Both teams were trying to settle into this round one clash and looked as though they needed to dust some cobwebs.
The deadlock was finally broken in the 15th minute when the Broncos were able to find some space on the left wing, sending Jordan Kahu over the line for the first try of the game. The visitors took the lead 4-0.
A knock on from James Roberts while trying to collect a Corey Norman cross field kick, gave the blue and gold another set 20 metres out but were unable to convert the opportunity into points.
The 23rd minute saw Corey Oates break into some space and start to build pressure for the Broncos, and when the visitors grabbed a penalty, Corey Parker converted it into two points.
Another break down the left wing by the Broncos and a kick towards the in goal saw Anthony Milford score the second try for the visitors. The Broncos extended the lead 10-0 after 27 minutes.
However, an error from Brisbane, due to some great defensive pressure from Semi Radradra, gave the Eels an attacking set from 10 metres out. The blue and gold found space on the right wing and Clint Gutherson scored his first try for the Eels in the 33rd minute. The home side trailed 10-4 with six minutes left of the first half.
The Eels were unable to hold the visitors again before the break, as Corey Oates crossed in the 37th minute. With an unsuccessful conversion by Corey Parker, the visitors took a 14-4 lead into the sheds at half time.
The first 40 minutes ended with a possible neck injury to Corey Norman, and the five-eighth would not return for the Blue and Gold for the rest of the evening.
The second half was error riddled from both teams, as neither team was able to find the try line early on.
Some great defensive work from Clint Gutherson took Corey Oates out over the sideline to prevent the Broncos from scoring.
A penalty to the Eels on halfway gave the home side an opportunity to find the line in the 53rd minute. Their set looked sharp and when Michael Jennings found a hole it looked like he had scored Parramatta’s second for the night. However, the video referee overruled the call based on a double movement, and momentum swung away from the home side.
Milford took a penalty shot in the 58th minute, extending Brisbane’s lead 16-4 with just over 20 minutes left of the game, and the Broncos looked to be in again in the 62nd minute, but the sideline official called it back and ruled the pass forward.
Anthony Milford summed up the game with a field goal in the 77th minute.
Brisbane Broncos: 17 (Kahu. Milford. Oates Conversions: Parker 1/4 Milford 1/1 Field Goals: Milford 1/1.)
Dyldam Parramatta Eels: 4 (Gutherson. Conversions: Gordon: 0/1.)