The Parramatta Eels NYC have come from behind to claim a ten point victory over the Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks side at ANZ Stadium today in Round Four of their respective competition.
The Eels were looking for their second victory over the Sharks, and their first at home, after claiming their first win of the season last week over the Gold Coast Titans.
However the Eels were forced to run down the Sharks from the get go, when the away side struck first in the sixth minute of the match through centre Bessie Aufaga-Toomaga.
With a bust down the left wing by winger Joshua Tuilagi, he grubbed back on the inside to find his centre in support to open the away side’s scoring before halfback Kyle Flanagan knocked over the two points to provide them a six point lead.
However the Eels struck back next, making their way down field through some strong charges to put themselves into a strong attacking position.
Fullback Anthony Layoun stepped and shrugged off some Sharks defence close to the line, before offloading to Reed Mahoney in support. The livewire hooker powered and spun his way to the line to plant the ball for a converted try.
The next 20 minutes of the clash saw a back and forth contest between both sides, as they settled into the game, and a real arm wrestle ensued.
The Eels looked to have troubled the scorers in the 31st minute through winger Greg Leleisiuao, who received a cut out ball from Kamren Cryer close to the line.
But as the winger dove from the corner, heavy cover defence dislodged the ball forcing a knock on.
The tough defence from the Sharks was rewarded with their own four pointer, when right winger Sione Katoa stepped, weaved and dodged his way to the line planting the ball to the right of the posts.
The try was converted and the scores remained unchanged for the final 5 minutes of the first half as the Eels headed to the sheds trailing by 6.
The Eels struck first in the second half, with winger Leleisiuao crossing in the 44th minute.
The winger cut back on the inside, and powered his way to the line for a converted try to level the scores.
Similar to the first half, both sides got back into the arm wrestle and looked to get in control with strong field position and keeping up their possession.
And it took some Blue & Gold magic in the 68th minute to put the Eels in front for the first time in the match.
Half Kamren Cryer kicked down the right edge for his winger John Fonua, and under pressure he passed back to Mahoney in support who managed to get his foot to the ball. The ball was headed for the sideline but winger Leleisauoao won his race to the ball to bat it back on the inside finding fullback Anthony Layoun in support.
The fullback grubbered for himself and won the race to the ball to plant it for a four pointer, and give the Eels their first lead of the clash.
The Sharks peppered the Eels line but some strong defence from the young Eels repelled wave after wave of attack before the Eels began dishing out some tough and brutal defence.
The effort was rewarded in the 79th minute of the match when centre Tuimavave Afualo powered his way over the line to secure the victory.
Cryer converted the try as the fulltime siren rang, and the young Eels claiming a 22-12 victory over the Sharks.
Parramatta Eels 22 (Tries: Reed Mahoney, Greg Leleisiuao, Anthony Layoun, Tuimavave Afualo; Goals: Kamren Cryer 3/4)
Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks 12 (Tries: Bessie Aufaga-Toomaga, Sione Katoa; Goals: Kyle Flanagan 2/2)