Eels win titanic back and forth affair
The Parramatta Eels NYC side have come away with a eight point victory in a back and forth, see-sawing affair against the Gold Coast Titans at Cbus Super Stadium on Friday 17 March in Round 3, notching up their first win of the season.
The Titans first set of the game ended with a towering bomb, and fullback Anthony Layoun was unable to take the spiralling ball. A repeat set gifted the Titans the first attacking opportunity and a cut out ball put winger Kody Parsons over in the corner for a converted try, taking a 6-0 lead in the opening three minutes.
The Eels levelled up the scores in the 12th minute of the match through an individual effort from half and captain Dean Matterson. With the Eels attacking in the Titans red zone, Matterson stepped off his right then left foot to slice through the line. Facing the fullback, Matterson stepped off his left again to dive over the line to the right of the posts.
Kamren Cryer knocking over the two points, his first points in the Blue & Gold.
However the Titans put themselves back in the lead a few minutes later. Forward Apiata Noema hit a hole after receiving a short ball from AJ Brimson, and he charged 20m to charge over for a converted try.
The Titans looked to be over again in the 22nd minute when Corey Manicaros dived over from dummy half, but some desperate defence from Tangi Hokai held the hooker up from planting the ball. The Titans had several sets on the Eels line but the defence held strong and repelled their continuous attacking sets.
The Eels defence was rewarded in the 28th minute when left centre Dane Aukafolau brushed past his defender before running the final 10m dragging the defence over the line. The conversion was pushed wide, but the Eels had brought the scoreline to within two points.
However the Titans worked their way down field with their next possession, and half Brimson threw a nice face cut out ball to hit centre Phillip Sami close to the line to score.
However the Eels had the final say of the first half, when right centre Tuimavave Afualo skipped to the outside of his man and stretched out under pressure to plant the ball for a four pointer in the 39th minute.
Cryer held his composure as the halftime siren rang, successfully kicking the conversion as the Blue & Gold headed to the sheds with the scores level, 16-16.
The Eels were quick to strike in the second half, with dummy half Denzal Tonise crossing for a four pointer. The hooker dived over close to the line for a converted, giving the Eels the first lead of the game.
The Titans then claimed back the lead when Kody Parsons crossed for his second of the night. However in scoring the converted try, the Titan injured himself and was taken from the field as he so no further part in the game.
A penalty to Roberts in the 57th minute extended their lead by two.
The back and forth affair continued when winger club debutant Greg Leleisiauo put the Eels back in front, barging his way over in the corner under heavy defence.
However the lead changed hands again in the 65th minute when Titans centre Daniel Brownbill crossed over out wide.
A try to livewire interchange hooker Reed Mahoney in the 75th minute set up for a grandstand finish. Close to the line, the dummy half barged his way over to score a converted try as the Eels went up 32-28.
The Eels secured the victory with a try late to lock Ray Stone. As the ball was kicked into the corner, the bouncing ball was unable to be cleaned up by the Titans winger and as Stone chased in support, he found himself with the ball to dive over in the corner.
The conversion was waved away, but the Eels held on for a 36-28 victory, their first win of the season.
Parramatta Eels 36 (Tries: Dean Matterson, Dane Aukafolau, Tuimavave Afualo, Denzal Tonise, Reed Mahoney, Ray Stone; Goals: Kamren Cryer 5/6)
Gold Coast Titans 28 (Tries: Kody Parsons (2), Apiiata Koema, Daniel Brownbill; Goals: Ethan Roberts 3/3; Penalty: Ethan Roberts 1/1)