The Parramatta Eels Jersey Flegg side have claimed a 26-14 victory over the Wests Tigers at Ringrose Park on Sunday 29 April in Round Eight of the competition.
Coming into the clash off two narrow defeats over the past fortnight, the young Blue & Gold side knew they would have been in for a tough clash against a desperate Wests Tigers outfit looking to secure their first win of the season.
The Eels were determined to make up for their past few performances, where victories slipped through their fingers due to ill-discipline and poor completions, and it wasn’t long before they built an early lead.
A shift through the Eels left edge backline saw centre Noel Aukafolau poking his head through the line before putting his winger Taufu Afu over out wide for a try in the 10th minute.
It wasn’t long before the Eels were over again, when half Jaeman Salmon sliced his way through the Tigers defence on the last tackle of the set to score an individual try.
The wealth of possession and dominance to the Blue & Gold side early took it’s toll on the opposition, and an error from the Wests Tigers close to their line saw the Eels cross for their third.
A bouncing grubber was unable to be cleaned up by the Wests Tigers with Aukafolau scooping up the loose ball before offloading to forward Oregon Kaufusi in support to cross for a four pointer close to the posts for a converted try.
The Eels claiming a 14-0 lead after 21 minutes.
However a lack of completions hurt the Blue & Gold, inviting the Wests Tigers back into the clash in the 30th minute of the clash when backrower Kane McQuiggan was on the end of a string of passes to score out wide.
A crucial error in attacking field position close to the Wests Tigers try line occurred just before half time seeing an opportunity go begging, before the Eels headed to the sheds with a ten point lead.
In what would have been a disappointing end to the opening forty minutes from the home side, they were quick to get back on the front foot, crossing for a 10 minutes into the second half when winger Ethan Parry went over out wide. The winger on the end of a slick backline movement that saw the Blue & Gold take a controlling lead to beyond two converted tries.
Passes between hooker Reed Mahoney and half Jaeman Salmon close to the line led to forward Sean Keppie barging over for a converted try with 15 minutes remaining on the clock further extending the lead.
With the Eels holding a 26-4 lead, two disallowed tries to the Blue & Gold compounded with two ‘bounce of the ball’ tries to the Wests Tigers via Curtis Wilson and Heath Gibbs saw the Eels lead shorten to 26-14 before the fulltime siren rang.
A lack of execution during the back end of each half and at crucial moments saw the West Tigers come within two converted tries from victory despite an overall dominant and controlled performance from the Blue & Gold, as the side claimed their fourth win of the season.
The Jersey Flegg competition now has the following two weekends off before the Eels are back in action against Mounties in Round Eleven at Leichhardt Oval on Saturday 19 May.
Parramatta Eels Jersey Flegg 26 (Tries: Taufa Afu, Jaeman Salmon, Oregon Kaufusi, Ethan Parry, Sean Keppie; Goals: Reed Mahoney (3))
Wests Tigers 14 (Tries: Kane McQuiggan, Curtis Wilson, Heath Gibbs; Goals: Connelly Lemuelu)