Eels secure Top 4
The Parramatta Eels have won 22-16 over the South Sydney Rabbitohs in their NRL Telstra Premiership Round 26 clash at ANZ Stadium
It was a scrappy affair with a Semi Radradra hattrick proving the difference in the end
Parramatta crossed in the 9th minute when the Eels went to their right edge on halfway and Mitchell Moses sent Michael Jennings flying down the right edge. Despite the best efforts of Rabbitohs stand-in fullback Damien Cook, Jennings was too fast and too strong.
Moses converted from near the touchline and the Eels had an early 6-0 lead.
The Rabbitohs thought they had struck back in the 13th minute when Bryson Goodwin won the race to a Luke Kelly grubber but it was called back due to the Rabbits winger being offside.
Souths were in one minute later when they went to their left edge and caught the Eels short with Robert Jennings grabbing a try in the corner. Bryson Goodwin was unable to convert and the led 6-4.
In the 27th minute Souths hit the lead through Kyle Turner who crashed over under the sticks. Goodwin converted and Souths held a 10-4 lead.
Souths seemed to have set up camp down the Parramatta end towards the back-end of the first half but a John Sutton pass went into touch.
In the final minute before half time the Eels were back in front when the Blue and Gold went to the left edge and Semi Radradra crossed in the left corner.
Moses landed the conversion from the sideline and the Eels headed into the sheds leading 12-10.
In the 50th minute Semi had his second when the Eels went to their left edge and Corey Norman found the Flying Fijian with a long cut-out ball.
Moses added the extras to give the Eels an 18-10 lead.
Souths struck back in the 55th minute when Robert Jennings scored his second. Goodwin landed the conversion from the sideline and the Eels only held a narrow 18-16 lead.
In the 75th minute Semi Radradra was in for his third of the night. On the final tackle and with the Eels needing another try to give them some breathing space, Norman took the ball at second receiver and placed a nicely weighted cross-field bomb.
The big winger out-jumped Campbell Graham and scored in the left corner. Moses was unable to convert from the sideline and the Eels held on to a 22-16 lead.
The win secured Parramatta their first top four berth since 2005 with the Eels traveling to Melbourne in the first week of the finals.
Parramatta Eels 22 (Tries: Michael Jennings, Semi Radradra 3. Goals: Mitchell Moses 3/4)
South Sydney Rabbitohs 16 (Tries: Robert Jennings 2, Kyle Turner. Goals: Bryson Goodwin 2/3)