A clinical Parramatta Eels NYC side have come away with a dominant 60-12 victory over the second-placed North Queensland Cowboys at 1300SMILES Stadium tonight (Friday 29 April), in Round Nine of the Holden Cup competition.
The Eels side built plenty of pressure early, peppering the home side try line with wave after wave of attack, forcing a handful of repeat sets early in the clash.
The pressure eventually turning into points in the ninth minute, when five-eighth Dean Matterson threw the final pass to winger Greg Leleisiauo to cross in the corner. The powerful outside back stepped his defender and dove for the line, planting the ball in an acrobatic display for his first try of the night.
It wasn’t long before Leleisiauo was over again, this time crossing over just five minutes later after a simple shift through the hands, with fullback Anthony Layoun delivering the final pass as the Eels took an early 10-0 lead.
The Eels extended their lead further in the 20th minute, when left winger John Fonua crossed over out wide. With the Cowboys unable to take a towering bomb from the boot of halfback Kamren Cryer, the Blue & Gold were gifted great field position. A shift through the hands caught the Cowboys short out wide, with Fonua crossing in the corner.
The Eels attack looked relentless and it wasn’t long before the young Blue & Gold had built up an impressive lead.
Winger Leleisiauo crossed for his third in the 27th minute, half Cryer stepping his way to the line in the 30th minute before centre Dane Aukafolau on the end of a grubber to plan one undernear the posts in the 33rd minute as the Eels quickly built a commanding 32-0 lead.
The Cowboys attacked the Eels line in the final five minutes of the half, with two repeat sets, but the Blue & Gold line held strong, heading to the sheds with a clean first half scoresheet.
The Cowboys NYC struck early in the first half, their first points of the clash when hooker Calum Gahan caught the markers napping, diving over for a converted try in the 45th minute.
However when the Eels regained possession, they continued tho threaten the line, and they crossed for further points when Matterson crossed for a try in the 48th minute. Close to the line, the half attempted to grubber into the in goal, but a deflection saw the ball bounce up into his arms as he strolled through the line to plant one under the posts.
The half was in the thick of it again, four minutes later, when a forty-twenty from his boot put the Eels into another great attacking opportunity.
A simply shift through the hands found winger Fonua with space to move, and he pinned his ears back, winning the race to the line to cross in the corner.
With the Eels in a mood, fullback Anthony Layoun ran a short side play before dummying and powering his way over his opposite number to cross in the corner, his first for the night in the 56th minute.
A long range effort from the Cowboys saw centre Kurt Wiltshire go over for their second of the evening, looming in support before running 40m downfield to score out wide for a converted try.
The Eels were on the attack again in the 73rd minute, when Leleisiuao streaked down field as he looked for his fourth of the evening. But the winger was pulled down inside the 20m line.
The field position saw the Eels cross again, this time through interchange forward Mitch Butfield, who was on the end of a flat ball from dummy half close to the line.
A try in the 75th minute to forward Frank Salu, who barged his way over underneath the posts saw the Eels extend their lead to 60-12, and with no more tries in the final five minutes, the Eels came away 48 point victors over the second placed Cowboys.
Parramatta Eels 60 (Tries: Greg Leleisiuao (3), John Fonua (2), Anthony Layoun, Dean Matterson, Dane Aukafolau, Kamren Cryer, Mitch Butfield, Frank Salu; Goals: Kamren Cryer 8/11)
North Queensland Cowboys 12 (Tries: Calum Gahan, Kurt Wiltshire, Goals: Michael Carroll 2/2)