Eels NYC hold off fast finishing Warriors
The Parramatta Eels NYC have held on for a 34-24 victory over a fast finishing New Zealand Warriors NYC side at Mt. Smart Stadium this afternoon, claiming the two points in Round Six of their competition.
The Blue & Gold put themselves under pressure early, when their kick off to start the clash sailed out on the full.
The home side looked dangerous early, probing with the football but the young Blue & Gold defensive line held strong to defend three sets on their line to kick off the clash.
As the momentum began to even out, the Eels made their way down field with some strong charges from their energetic forward pack.
It paid dividends in the 10th minute when halfback Troy Dargan ran towards the line, dummied and sliced through the defence to score down the left edge.
Five minutes later, the halfback linked up with five-eighth Dean Matterson to find fullback Anthony Layoun sweeping around the back to dive over in the corner, taking an eight point lead.
The Eels looked to have crossed for their third try of the half, when hooker Denzal Tonise barged his way over the line, but a penalty was blown as the Eel fought his way to plant the ball.
The penalty led to two quick penalties, piggy backing the Warriors NYC side down the other side of the field, and they crossed through centre Kane Telea who showed some quick footwork close to the line to score a converted try.
The Eels however struck back with their next possession, when an individual shown of strength from Filia Utoikamanu carried three defenders over the line to cross just to the left of the posts for a converted try.
The Eels went over again with two minutes till the half time siren, when winger Greg Leleisuao scooped up the loose ball, sprinting 40m down the sideline before stepping the fullback to go over untouched.
Dargan kicked over the conversion to the right of the posts, giving the Eels a 20-6 lead at half time.
The Warriors NYC side on the other side of half time, when a shift through the hands found centre Gibson Popoalii with room to move to dive into the corner.
However the Eels struck back shortly after through Dargan, who scored his second of the afternoon. The half’s cut out ball found centre Dane Aukafolau busting through the line before finding Dargan back inside in support to cross.
The back and forth tries kept coming when Warriors winger Lewis Soosemea crossed in the 60th minute, before Blue & Gold’s Utoikamanu crossed for his second in the 66th minute, giving the Eels a 32-14 lead.
However the Warriors did not die wondering, scoring tries to fullback Lee Turner in the 71st minute, followed by a try to half Chanel Harris-Tevita in the 74th minute to set up for a tense finish.
And with the home side flying, a penalty in the dying minutes of the game put it out of reach with the Eels securing the two points, coming away 34-24 victors.
Parramatta Eels NYC 32 (Tries: Troy Dargan (2), Anthony Layoun, Filia Utoikamanu (2), Greg Leleisiuao; Goals: Troy Dargan 4/6; Penalties: Troy Dargan 1/1)
New Zealand Warriors NYC 24 (Tries: Kane Telea, Gibson Popoalii, Lewis Soosemea, Lee Turner, Chanel Harris-Tavita; Goals: Dylan Tavita ½, Chanel Harris-Tabita 1/3)