Eels romp home over Rabbitohs
The Dyldam Parramatta Eels have run in a 30-12 win over the South Sydney Rabbitohs on Friday night, with young winger Bevan French scoring a double, and Semi Radradra sealing the win with an incredible long-range solo effort in the final minutes of play.
The Round 15 win marks the Blue and Gold's third straight victory, after wins against the Gold Coast Titans and Newcastle Knights.
The two sides traded bruising sets to open the contest, with the Eels under pressure early from a wealth of Rabbitohs possession on the back of some pinpoint kicking and a smattering of Eels errors.
Cody Walker sent Alex Johnston through in the 11th minute from a neat short ball, and converted the try to give the home side an early 6-0 lead.
A penalty for infringing int he ruck gave the Blue and Gold some respite, finding touch 40 metres out and immediately taking on the line and pushing for points. Five-eighth Kenny Edwards picked up a penalty as he was pushed back from the line, while Tepai Moeroa barrelled over the line from an Edwards pass only to be held up.
The Parramatta attack stepped back and sent a cross-field kick for Clint Gutherson to collect and score under the posts in the 15th minute, with fullback Michael Gordon adding the extras.
The Blue and Gold added two more points from a penalty goal after prop Daniel Alvaro copped a high tackle, and in the 23rd minute winger Bevan French scored his third try in just three games as Edwards, Moeroa and Gordon sent the ball out to his edge.
The visitors found their rhythm to shut out the Rabbitohs in defence as the half wound done, undone only in the 37th minute as Rabbitohs forward Nathan Brown hit space in the middle of the field and raced away for a late four-pointer.
Another clean conversion from Cody Walker send the Eels back to the sheds with a slim 14-12 lead at the halftime break.
The second half saw the Eels down on troops as hooker Kaysa Pritchard headed up the tunnel in the 51st minute with a shoulder injury.
South Sydney pressed their claims early, building pressure and creating a left edge overlap for Dane Nielsen to hit the tryline, but the Rabbitohs winger was found to have slid a foot onto the sideline for a no try ruling.
The Blue and Gold couldn’t convert their three back-to-back penalties and field position into points, but after Parramatta lost the ball from an offload close to the line, Souths were denied their chance at a try by an obstruction ruling.
Fresh from a massive touch-finder from Corey Norman, the Eels took their chances close to the Rabbitohs’ line. With a Souths knock on giving the Blue and Gold the scrum feed, singer Semi Radradra sent the ball out to winger Bevan French to sweep over the tryline for his second four-pointer of the night.
With just over 10 minutes of play remaining, tensions threatened to spill over around the ruck, and when the Rabbitohs were penalised for dissent by the on-field referee, the Blue and Gold added another two points courtesy of Michael Gordon.
When the Rabbitohs’ drop out failed to go 10 metres from an Eels repeat set, Gordon took over kicking duties again, putting Parramatta 24-12 up, and with the clock counting down to the full time siren, Semi Radradra showed off some magic stepping to grab a loose pass from deep in the Eels’ end, and run more than 80 metres for a try at the death.
Gordon’s golden run continued, slotting one final conversion for a 30-12 victory.
Dyldam Parramatta Eels - 30 (Gutherson, French 2, Radradra. Gordon: 4/4. Penalty goals - Gordon: 3/3)
South Sydney Rabbitohs - 12 (Johnston, Brown. Walker: 2/2)