The Dyldam Parramatta Eels Holden Cup side have fallen to a late second half blitz by the Canberra Raiders at GIO Stadium, suffering a 12-28 defeat in their Round 24 clash.
The Blue and Gold and Green Machine focused on ball control and field position in the early stages of the clash, with both sides happy to cart the ball up and kick long to begin proceedings.
The opening 10 minute period saw a real arm wrestle between the two teams, and it wasn’t until a right hand shift from the Raiders in the eleventh minute saw winger Jack Hackson cross over out wide to open the scoring for the day.
The Raiders looked to be crossing again for their second of the morning as forward Jack Williams broke through the Eels defence 40m out and step his way towards the try line but scrambled defence from Jermaine Mati-Leifi and Dane Aukafolau pulled the forward down just short of the line to stop a certain try.
The Raiders maintained the pressure and after a few sets, forward Jack Murchie crossed to the left of the posts to score a converted try and put the Raiders up by 10 after 23 minutes.
The Blue and Gold fought their way back into the clash in the second portion of the opening half and looked to have their first four pointer of the day when Mati-Leifi crossed out wide and plant the ball in the corner. The winger got up celebrating but the linesman had his flagged raised and the score remain unchanged.
With a few minutes to go until the half time siren, half Troy Dargan put Aukafolau into a hole and power over the defence and score. Michael Doolan converted the try, taking the Eels to the half time sheds trailing 6-10.
Another softening up period to kick off the second half, before the Raiders scored two quick tries in the 57th and 60th minute of the clash.
Winger Andre Niko on the end of a backline movement to score in the corner before the centre Sebastian Kris scooped up a loose ball to score under the posts, as the Raiders extended their lead to 6-22.
The Raiders looked to put the game out of reach in the 68th minute when they crossed for a try through Jack Williams, after Jack Hickson broke into the outfield and the ball went through the hands and they extended their lead to 6-28.
The Eels struck late in the game through lock forward Tom Amone, who dived under the posts, close to the line to score, but the young Blue and Gold were unable to add any further points, going down in the nation’s capital by sixteen points.
Canberra Raiders 28 (Tries: Jack Hickson, Jack Murchie, Andrew Niko, Sebastian Kris, Jack Williams; Goals: Zac Woolford 4/5)
Parramatta Eels 12 (Tries: Dane Aukafolau, Tom Amone; Goals: Michael Doolan 2/2)