The Dyldam Parramatta Eels have displayed an enormous amount of determination as they defeated the Manly Warringah Sea Eagles 10-9 in a come from behind thriller this evening at Pirtek Stadium.
A loose carry from Manly in the first tackle of the game saw the Eels on the attack as the blue and gold were on the hunt for points early.
Temper’s were flaring from the start as ex teammates came up against each other as both teams were set to make their mark on the game.
Parramatta was settling into the game well, forcing a line drop out in the 5th minute and gaining back to back sets.
The possession seemed costly for the visitors as the Eels were first on the board with a sensational try from Bevan French. Brad Takairangi offloaded to French on the last tackle before French put in a kick into the in goal and re-gathered to score. Michael Gordon kicked from infront to take the score to 6-0 after nine minutes.
An error off the kick off from the Eels gave the Sea Eagles a chance to strike back quickly, but great anticipation from Bevan French saw him able to clean up in defence.
The home side displayed some great attack and were almost in again when Tepai Moeroa offloaded to Michael Gordon who was pulled down just short of the line and lost the ball in the tackle.
The dedication of the Parramatta players in defence was incredible as Jorge Tafau was tacked in goal as a result of a great kick chase by the blue and gold.
Bevan French looked to be in for his second of the night, but after a review from the bunker, he was ruled to have misgrounded the ball.
Back to back sets for the Sea Eagles in the 23rd minute tested the Eels in defence on their own tryline, however they managed to keep the visitors scoreless.
The home side continued to be a strong force in defence, putting pressure on the Sea Eagles as they struggled to complete their sets.
With five minutes remaining of the first half, Daly Cherry-Evans put up a well weighted bomb and resulted in his side having a repeat set 10 metres out, which shifted the momentum slightly.
The Eels gave away a penalty in that second set as the tackle count re-started for the Sea Eagles.
The pressure seemed too much for the blue and gold as Apisai Koroisau managed to crash over the line for the visitors. Dylan Walker added the extras as Manly leveled up the scores 6-6 with one minute of the first half remaining.
An field goal attempt from Daly Cherry-Evans was successful on the halftime buzzer as the halfback put his side ahead 7-6 heading into the break.
Both sides started the second half composed and completing their sets as they knew they were in for a close game.
An error from Manly just on the half way line in the 45th minute gave the Eels some great attacking position and an opportunity to hit the lead.
Jeff Robson looked to spread the ball to the left hand edge as he passed to Clint Gutherson who dummied and crossed over the line. It seemed he had scored for the home side before the bunker ruled Michael Jennings obstructed the defence.
Manly were unable to complete their next set as the Eels had another chance to cross the line.
The game intensified as Josh Starling was put on report for a high tackle on Tepai Moeroa. A decision to take the penalty goal from right in front was made as the Eels took the lead once more, 8-7 with 28 minutes remaining.
A line drop out and then a penalty to the visitors gave Manly a chance to claim the lead again. The Sea Eagles elected to take the penalty goal as they were back infront 9-8 with 23 minutes remaining.
The line drop out’s continued and was the next best result for the Eels as they continued to build pressure in their attack, however, they were unable to find some points.
While Manly struggled to get out of their own half, the Eels were dominant in attack and forced yet another goal line drop out with 15 minutes remaining.
As time became the enemy, the Eels were fighting to hold on to the one point margin, and while the Sea Eagles continued to look dangerous, errors ended their chance of putting the game away.
It was a frantic last five minutes with both sides looking to find the line and secure the win for their team.
A penalty to the Eels gave the home side a chance to take the lead with a penalty goal. Michael Gordon took his time to line it up and kicked it over as the blue and gold army celebrated a 10-9 lead with three minutes remaining.
With less than two minutes left of the game, the Eels had to stay composed to retain the lead. An attempted short kick off from Manly was caught by Daniel Alvaro and the Eels found touch on the fifth tackle.
With one minute remaining and with the Sea Eagles in possession, the Eels just had to hold the visitors out one last time.
As the final buzzer sounded, the blue and gold army erupted as the Parramatta Eels held on, defeating the Many Warringah Sea Eagles, 10-9.
Dyldam Parramatta Eels: 10 (Tries: French. Goals. Gordon 1/1. Penalty Goals: Gordon 2/2)
Manly Warringah Sea Eagles: 9 (Tries: Koroisau. Goals: Walker 1/1. Penalty Goals: Walker 1/1. Field Goal: Cherry-Evans)