Eels fall to Wests Tigers in gritty affair
The Dyldam Parramatta Eels have been defeated by the Wests Tigers 22-8 this evening in their Round 21 clash at ANZ Stadium.
The Eels were quick to dominate early in the game, making strong metres off their sets and looking sharp in attack. They were the first on the board after receiving a penalty 10 metres out. Michael Gordon was successful from the boot as the Eels took the lead 2-0 after five minutes of play.
Parramatta’s eagerness off the defensive line proved too much as they gave away a penalty which gifted the Tigers some great attacking position. However, the blue and gold defence held on as the Tigers were forced to run it on the last.
The first try of the game came from an offload from James Tedesco which saw Mitchell Moses make a break down the right edge of the field before passing to David Nofoaluma who crossed in the corner. Moses added the extras as the Wests Tigers took the lead 6-2 in the 12th minute.
The Tigers were in again when Josh Aloiai made a break as James Tedesco came flying through in support as the fullback crossed under the posts. Another successful conversion by Moses saw the Wests Tigers extend their lead 12-2.
The momentum seemed to be with the visitors as more penalties continued to provide them room to showcase their attack. Again, Parramatta’s defence held up as they forced an error from Mitchell Moses in the 16th minute.
Back to back penalties for the home side saw the Eels start to look dangerous on the opposition try line, however they were unable to the finish the play and cross the line.
The game continued to provide plenty of entertainment as Luke Brooks intercepted a pass and made a break dwon the field. The Tigers received a penalty and opted to take the two however were unsuccessful as Moses’ kicked was waved away.
It was then Paramatta’s turn to shine in attack as David Gower made a break before he was pulled down 10 metres away from the line.
Back on the other end of the field, Kevin Naqiama was next to make a break before Tim Simona was pulled down just short of the line. Parramatta giving away another penalty right in front of the posts as this time, Moses successfully converted the penalty. The Tigers further extending their lead as the Eels trailed 14-2 after 30 minutes.
Minutes later, the Eels received a penalty and were able to gain some good attacking field postion and as a result, forced a line drop out and a repeat set.
The patience proved to pay off as after 34 minutes, the blue and gold were able to break the Tigers’ defensive line through an overlap on the left wing and Vai Toutai crossed for Parramatta’s first try of the game. Michael Gordon successfully converted, as the Eels trailed 14-8 at the break.
An injury sustained in the first half to Wests Tigers halfback, Luke Brooks, saw him not return, as both sides were trying to settle back into the second half.
Both teams struggled to find points in the first 10 minutes of the second half, as the Eels showed strong defence but were lacking in fifth tackle options.
The Tigers received back to back sets in th 55th minute, but the blue and gold defence continued to hold the visitors out.
Minutes later and the Eels receieved a penalty and were looking dangerous as they made their way down the field. A great Jeff Robson cross field bomb forced an error from the Tigers as the Eels had six more tackles from 10 metres out, however the home side was unable to find points.
The Wests Tigers seemed to gain confidence out of that set and in the following set, took Bevan French out of the field of play in the 62nd minute which ultimately proved to be the turning point in the second half.
The Eels then gave away another penalty which led to the visitors adding the extra two points off a penalty goal as they went into the last 15 minutes of play 16-8 ahead.
An error from Jordin Rankin in the play the ball gave the Eels one last chance to start their comeback with 13 minutes remaining on the board but a knock on from the home side gifted the Tigers the possession straight back.
The calls kept coming for the Tigers when the visitors were awarded another penalty as a result of the Parramatta players being off side on the last play.
For the fourth time of the night, Moses lined up for a penalty goal and added another two to the Wests Tigers’ total.
A try to Sauaso Sue off a Mitchell Moses grubber kick in the 73rd minute, all but secured the win for the visitors as the score climbed to 22 points to 8.
Mitchell Moses sealed the win with a field goal in the 77th minute, as the Wests Tigers defeated the Parramatta Eels 23-8.
Parramatta Eels: 8 (Tries: Toutai. Goals: Gordon: 1/1 Penalty Goals: Gordon 1/1)
Wests Tigers: 23 (Tries: Moses, Tedesco, Sue. Goals. 2/3 Penalty Goals: Moses 3/4. Field Goals. Moses 1/1)