The Parramatta Eels Holden Cup side have gone down to a flying Canberra Raiders side at GIO Stadium this afternoon in Round Five of the competition, suffering a 42-22 defeat on Saturday 1 April.
The Eels struck first early, crossing over in the 5th minute of the clash when livewire hooker Reed Mahoney darted over from dummy half to open the scoring.
The hooker’s quick thinking close to the line putting the Eels up by a converted try early in the contest.
However the Raiders began to build pressure with ball in hand. Back to back penalties gifted the home side with the perfect attacking opportunity, and after forcing a drop out, the young green machine looked likely to score.
However the Blue & Gold defence held strong, repelling the attack and making their way down field.
They looked to score their second four pointer of the afternoon, but a reversal of fortunes saw the Raiders running clear from inside their own 20m before being eventually run down by the Eels chasers in their own half. A couple of plays later and the Raiders hooker Jarred Tuite had his own four pointer, barging over close to the line.
Off the kick off, the Raiders spread the ball early, finding space out wide. Winger Mikaele Ravalawa found himself with room to move down the sideline and as he drew fullback Anthony Layoun, he offloaded to centre Andre Niko who ran 40m to score under the posts, putting the Raiders up by six.
However the Eels struck back straight away when Layoun scored an individual try. The fullback dummied close to the line, fooling the Raiders defence out wide, before diving over in the corner to score an unconverted try.
But the home side finished the first half with the wind in their sails. Interchange forward Kye Madden crossed over in the 34th minute, before half Logan Spaander futher extended their lead pouncing on a grubber to score in the 38th minute, seeing the Raiders head to the half time sheds with a 24-10 lead.
The Eels would of been looking to be the first to score in the second half, but it was Raiders flyer Ravalawa who put the first points on the board, crossing for an unconverted try.
It took until the 54th minute for Eels Dom Murphy, who collected a bouncing grubber in the Raiders in goal, to plant it for a converted try under the posts.
However the Eels were reduced to 12 men on the field in the 60th minute of the game, when winger Greg Leleisiuao was sent to the sin bin for a professional foul.
The winger had run down the Raiders outside backs, who split through the Eels defence, and in his extra effort in the tackle was penalised and sent to the sideline.
The Raiders made the most of the extra numbers, with centre Sebastian Kris finding space out wide to cross over.
Minutes later, the Raiders were over again down the same edge, with Kris chipping over the top for himself to regather before offloading to Van Dartel in support to score out wide, extending their lead to 38-16.
A try with 5 minutes remaining in the match saw the Raiders extend their lead, putting their stamp on the victory.
A kick late in the tackle count ricocheted off the Eels defensive line, finding it’s way into the hands of Raiders forward Zac Masters. The prop offloaded to lock Hudson Young in support who won the footrace to the line.
A late consolation try in the final minute of the match to Eels centre Dane Aukafolau, who was pulled down close to the try line but managed to reach out and plant it for a converted try.
The full time siren rang as the conversion was kicked, with the Eels going down to the Raiders, 42-22.
Parramatta Eels 22 (Tries: Denzal Tonise, Anthony Layoun, Dom Murphy; Goals Kamren Cryer 2/3)
Canberra Raiders 42 (Tries: Jarred Tuite, Andrew Niko, Kye Madden, Logan Spaander, Mikaele Ravalawa, Sebastian Kris, Harry Van Dartel; Goals Harry Van Dartel 5/7)