The Parramatta Eels Jersey Flegg side have come away with a 22-12 victory over in their pre-season clash against the North Sydney Bears at Ringrose Park this afternoon (Thursday 8 February).
A first half that was dominated by the Blue & Gold saw the young Eels take an early lead off the back of a wealth of possession and field position before a second half fight back and late points by the Bears saw the Eels take a ten point lead.
The young Blue & Gold put first points on the scoreboard in the 5th minute of the clash. A string of quick passes through the hands of the Eels left edge backline found winger Taufa Afu crossing over in the corner, with some quick hands from fullback John Fonua who chimed into the backline movement.
The next 15 minutes of the opening quarter saw the Eels hold a heavy weight of possession and field position, but were unable to capitalise on their opportunities.
A strong charge from forward Michael Tupou nearly had the team’s second try of the afternoon but a one on one strip on the try line saw the score remain 4-0.
The second quarter picked up right where the first quarter finished, with the Eels maintaining their strong field position and continued to build pressure.
A strong charge from centre Tuimavave Afualo put the Eels inside the Bears 30m, before a short side raid found halfback Dylan Brown surging forward and putting forward Salesi Faingaa through a gaping hole with a brilliant offload. But a miraculous tackle from the Bears fullback saved a certain try, holding Faingaa up over the line.
However the Eels maintained their composure and again found their way into the Bears half after strong charges from Haze Dunster and Brown in support. The ball spread to the left with a cut out ball putting centre Noel Aukafolau over out wide to give the Eels a 8-0 lead after 30 minutes.
The Eels crossed again just four minutes later, when Dylan Brown, who was now playing at fullback, chimed into the backline, receiving the ball after going through the hands of Joey Taipari and Jaydn Field.
The Eels taking a 12-0 lead into the sheds at half time.
The second half saw a handful of changes to the Eels side, with a fair few positional changes made and played given their opportunity in the Blue & Gold.
Despite a wealth of possession, some heavy weighted kicks and crucial handling errors saw the Eels unable to capitalize on their opportunities down the Bears end.
The Bears eventually crossing in the 50th minute of the clash when their left centre ducked and dived, and swerved his way to the line to score to the left of the posts.
The Eels struck back just before the end of the third quarter when forward Bruce Wakeling powered his way over the line after a strong charge close to the line. The conversion was unsuccessful hitting the posts, giving the Eels a 16-4 lead.
The Bears began to find their rhythm in the second half, making plenty of metres through the ruck, and after a break down their right edge from deep inside their own half, they went on to score on the next play in the left corner.
However the Eels stuck back shortly after.
After a strong charge by Beni Valu, carrying a handful of defenders, the Eels made their way inside the Bears 20m, and after a quick play the ball, Jesse Cronin scooted and dove over from dummy half. The Eels taking a 22-8 lead after 74 minutes.
Some enterprising play from both sides in the final minutes of the clash saw both teams looking for points and after a chip and chase from the Bears was regathered, they streaked away to score out wide as the fulltime siren rang.
The Eels Jersey Flegg side claiming a 22-12 victory.
Parramatta Eels Jersey Flegg: 22 (Tries: Taufa Afu, Noel Aukafolau, Dylan Brown, Bruke Wakeling, Jesse Cronin; Goals: Dylan Brown 0/3, Todd Sapienza 1/2)
North Sydney Bears: 12