Young Eels crowned National Champions
It's been a tough couple of weeks for the Parramatta Eels, but their under-16s brought the club the ultimate success in their age group on Sunday; the Eels were crowned national champions after a 32-0 demolition of the Townsville Blackhawks at Albert Bishop Park.
Scoring started early for the New South Welshmen when Charbel Tasipale crossed; the second-rower scored in both the Harold Matthews Grand Final and National Final. With captain Kyle Schneider adding the extras the Eels had a six-point lead.
Soon after it was Asaeli Vuicakau's turn; the centre darted across for a nice four-pointer and the Eels truly had the ascendancy. With the conversion missed it was 10-0 in favour of the Blue-and-golds.
In the ensuing 10 minutes the Townsville side looked to show why they deserved to be there and having come back from a 14-point deficit last week, there was every chance that they could do it again. The Eels, however, held on in defence and eventually opportunities were provided in attack; backs Cliff Lea'Aetoa and JP Nohra both crossed in the minutes before half-time. It sent Parramatta into the sheds with a 22-0 advantage.
The contest appeared more even in the third quarter of the game but once again it was the Eels to break the deadlock, with Lea'Aetoa bagging his second in the 45th minute. A beautiful 80-metre run displayed his power and speed as the Eels rushed out to a 28-point lead.
The result had been decided, but both sides were both willing in both attack and defence, with some heavy hitting and fancy footwork the staple of the final 15 minutes. A slick JP Nohra ball for his winger Dennis Mataia extended the lead and that was all she wrote - the Eels shut out the Blackhawks to win 32 points to nil.
Nohra was named Man Of The Match after a fantastic display at the back and the Eels were crowned national champions.