The young Dyldam Parramatta Eels have hung on for a 22-16 victory over the South Sydney Rabbitohs at ANZ Stadium in Round 15 of the Holden Cup.
The Blue and Gold battled to break the South Sydney defence in the opening sets, in return holding the Rabbitohs up in goal twice to keep the game scoreless for the opening 15 minutes of play.
A barnstorming run from prop Kurt De Luis in the 15th minute put the young Eels in beautiful field position, before halfback Troy Dargan sent a cut-out passing looping to Jermaine Mati-Leifi on the left edge to score in the corner.
The Blue and Gold came close again just four minutes later, but it took until the 24th minute for lock Tom Amone to barrel in from the 10 metre line and crash over the tryline.
Winger James Gammidge was unflappable on the wing collecting the Rabbitohs’ attacking kicks to help keep the home side scoreless through the first half, and fullback Michael Doolan added a penalty goal late in the half for a 14-0 lead at the break.
Just 5 minutes into the second half, Rabbitohs winger Campbell Graham put Souths on the board with a try in the corner, followed by half Chad O’Donnell who grubbered, regathered, grounded the ball and converted his own try.
Jack Morris ran a crisp line to score his own four-pointer for the Blue and Gold, with Doolan’s perfect conversion record continuing to put the Eels 10 points up.
A sensational solo effort from Latrell Robinson in space saw him score for the Rabbitohs under the post, setting up a 6-point finish at ANZ Stadium.
And while the home side threw plenty of free-flowing attack at the visitors in the dying minutes, the Eels held on for a 22-16 victory, keeping them well and truly in the top four on the Holden Cup ladder.
Dyldam Parramatta Eels - 22 (Mati-Leifi, Amone, Morris. Doolan: 3/3. Penalty Goals - Doolan: 2/2)
South Sydney Rabbitohs - 16 (Graham, O’Donnell, Robinson. O’Donnell: 2/3)