Eels claim Chad Robinson Cup in back and forth affair
The Parramatta Eels have come from behind to claim the Chad Robinson Cup after a 30-28 victory over the Sydney Roosters at Allianz Stadium today (Sunday 14 May).
The Eels built early pressure, camping themselves on the Roosters try line with halfback Troy Dargan forcing repeat set after repeat set with perfectly weighted grubbers.
The first points of the game came in the 9th minute of the clash, when hooker Denzal Tonise barged his way over from dummy-half, to crash over underneath the posts for a converted try.
The Roosters crossed again in the 20th minute, when a simple backline movement found try-scoring sensation Greg Leleisiuao with the ball and little room to move, but the winger forced his way to the line, diving over in the corner to give the Eels a 10 point lead.
However the home side clicked into gear, and crossed through debutant Nick O’Meley. The winger rose above the pack to claim a cross field kick from Lachlan Lam for the Roosters first try in the 24th minute.
Five minutes later, and the Roosters crossed for there second through winger Kenneth Koro, who planted the bal out wide for a converted try.
Then an individual effort from fullback Adam Pompey, who fended and swerved his way through the line before winning the footrace to run the length of the field, but the Roosters up by six points.
However the Eels struck back with seconds on the clock, with winger Greg Leleisiuao crossing over out wide for his second of the afternoon, as the teams head to the half time sheds, 16 points a piece.
It wasn’t long before the deadlock was broken, when the Roosters crossed over in the 44th minute of the match. O’Meley crossing for his second, with some skilful hands from the Roosters centre and fullback in the lead up to his try.
The Eels struck back five minutes later, with Dean Matterson linking up with winger John Fonua who dove and slid over in the corner to cross for a try out wide. The conversion was waved away, and the Eels trailed 22-20.
The Eels NYC looked to have put themselves in front in the 58th minute, when Matterson sliced through the line and reached out to plant the ball on the line to the left of the posts. However the try was denied as a double movement was ruled.
A reversal of fortune in the 65th minute, with the Eels spreading the ball and looking dangerous down their right edge, but an intercept saw winger O’Meley streak 80m away to cross for his third of the afternoon.
However the Eels attack didn’t die wondering. Back rower Filia Utoikamanu sliced through the defence on the halfway line, streaked through the backfield, drawing the fullback and offloading to Fonua to cross over out wide.
The conversion was waved away, and the Eels trailed 24-28 heading into the final ten minutes.
The Eels attacked the Roosters line, and the home side held strong, before an individual effort from hooker Denzal Tonise, who received the ball close to the line to power his way to the left of the posts to level the score.
Dargan stepped up to knock the conversion over, to claim a 30-28 victory, and the Chad Robinson Cup.
Parramatta Eels 30 (Tries: Denzal Tonise (2), Greg Leleisiuao (2), John Fonua (2); Goals: Troy Dargan 2/5)
Sydney Roosters 28 (Tries: Nick O’Meley (3), Kenneth Koro, Adam Pompey; Goals: Sean O’Sullivan 4/5)