The Dyldam Parramatta Eels have defeated the South Sydney Rabbitohs 28-22 in the Holden Cup as they managed to hold out a late comeback from the visitors to secure the two points at Pirtek Stadium.
The Eels wasted no time and were first on the board in the third minute when Jame Gammidge crashed over the line. The conversion was unsuccessful from Michael Doolan as the Eels took the lead 4-0.
It was a strong start to the game from Parramatta and even after they were faced with back-to-back penalties, the Eels managed to hold the visitors out. The home side was in again through Jack Morris who was on the receiving end of a great short pass from Doolan. This time the conversion from Doolan was successful as the Eels extended their lead 10-0.
Five minutes later and the Eels added some more points through Tyrell Fuimaono who broke through a tackle and scored. Doolan was successful again with the boot, taking the lead to 16-0.
An error from the defence gifted the Rabbitohs an attacking opportunity as Liam Coleman collected a loose ball to cross for the visitors’ first try of the game. Neihana Walters converted to take the score to 16- 6 after 30 minutes.
Solid defence from the home side saw Bevan French make a try saving tackle, which forced an error from the visitors. Minutes later and French was at it again on the other end of the field as he put a grubber kick through before regathering the ball to cross for the Eels. Doolan successfully converted, as the Eels took a 22-6 lead into the break.
The Eels were first to cross again after the break through Dean Matterson. The conversion was successful from Doolan as the game started to look out of reach for the visitors as they trailed 28-6.
The visitors were in for their second try of the game when Tom Perrin crossed in the right side corner. The conversion was unsuccessful as the visitors still trailed by 18 points.
After some scrappy play and as errors started to become more frequent from the Eels, the Rabbitohs were on the board again through Cameron Murray who crossed to the left of the posts. The visitors added the extras, as it became a 12-point ball game with less than 20 minutes remaining.
The Rabbitohs started to find gaps in Parramatta’s defence as the visitors started making strong metres down the field. Poor try line defence by the Eels saw Kalani Ili cross for the visitors and with a successful conversion, they were only six points behind the home side with 10 minutes remaining.
Lack of completions and poor discipline from the Eels kept the visitors in the game. The visitors looked dangerous in the last five minutes of play as they looked to cross the line on more than one occasion. However, scrambling defence from the Eels held them out enough for the home side to take away the two points.
The Parramatta Eels defeating the South Sydney Rabbitohs 28-22 in the Holden Cup.
Parramatta Eels - 28 (Gammidge, Morris, Fuimaono, French, Matterson. Conversions: Doolan 4/5
South Sydney Rabbitohs - 22 (Coleman, Perrin, Murray, Ili. Conversions: Walters 3/4)