Photo: Robb Cox (c) NRL Photos

Young Eels walk over Dogs

The Dyldam Parramatta Eels Under 20s have posted a 36-12 win over the Bulldogs at ANZ Stadium in Round 9 of the Holden Cup, with winger James Gammidge scoring a double.

Anthony Layoun stepped in as fullback for the young Eels side, while prop Alex Twal returned to the starting side, and the Under 20s were faced with a wave of pressure from the Bulldogs early as the away side used their kicking game to force back-to-back sets.

The home side were forced to wait for their opportunities, and the Dogs were first to post points courtesy of a short ball from halfback Lachlan Lewis to second-rower Luis Strickland to score in the 10th minute of play. 

The Blue and Gold repelled the Bulldogs for set after set, until an early kick from Troy Dargan off a scrum feed in the 26th minute allowed winger James Gammidge to fly through on the wing and score. A missed conversion from Dargan left the Eels trailing 6-4, until second-rower Tyrell Fuimaono proved too strong for the Bulldogs defence to handle, charging over for a four-pointer and sending Parramatta back to the sheds with a 10-6 lead.

Early in the second half the visitors made an impact through front-rower Mario El Boustani, crashing across to edge the Bulldogs in front again, with Zac Green’s kicking continuing to find its mark, adding 2 extra points. 

Just minutes later, the Bulldogs defence couldn’t hold onto Troy Dargan’s kick, leaving the football free for winger Jermaine Mati-Leifi to collect, before stepping right and slipping through the line to ground the ball.

Spotting some flagging defence, the Eels capitalised in the 56th minute via interchange prop Jamie Stowers, who slipped past the slow markers to run 40 metres unchecked for a try.

Troy Dargan extended the lead with a try out wide, not quite able to convert his own effort. As the minutes ticked down, James Gammidge sewept through for a second try in the right hand crner, and prop Alex Twal added another four points as he smashed through the defensive line and ran 30m to the tryline. 

The long-range effort sealed a comprehensive 36-12 win.

Twal received attention to his shoulder after the barnstorming run and left the field.

Bulldogs - 12 (Strickland, El Boustani. Green: 2/2)

Eels - 36 (Gammidge 2, Fuimaono, Mati-Leifi, Stowers, Dargan, Twal. Dargan: 4/7)