Eels comeback falls short against the Warriors
The Parramatta Eels have gone down 24-14 to the New Zealand Warriors in their Round 11 clash at ANZ Stadium on Friday night.
21 year old second-rower Marata Niukore made his NRL debut from the bench.
The Eels started well with early pressure on the Warriors line. That pressure paid off with Mitchell Moses converting a penalty goal to give the Eels a 2-0 lead after seven minutes.
The Warriors though were the first to cross the try-line with David Fusitu'a landing a spectacular, acrobatic effort in the right corner.
Warriors halfback Mason Lino converted from the touch line and they led 6-2 after 11 minutes.
Four minutes later and the Warriors extended their lead to six points through a Lino penalty goal.
In the 21st minute the Warriors were in for their second when Peta Hiku collected a bat-down from Ken Maumalo and shrugged off George Jennings to score in the left corner.
Lino was unable to convert and the Warriors led 12-2.
The Eels began working their way back into the contest and were soon camped on the Warriors line. A string of penalties led to Isaiah Papali'i being sent to the sin bin the 34th minute.
Despite continued pressure, the Eels were unable to crack the Warriors' defensive line and both sides headed to the sheds with the score at 12-2.
The Eels were immediately on the attack after the break with the Blue and Gold going to their left through Corey Norman who hit Clint Gutherson and the co-captain dummied to beat his man and went over out wide.
Eels halfback Mitchell Moses nailed the conversion from touch and the Warriors' lead was cut to four points.
The Blue and Gold worked their way back up field and continued building pressure through Mitchell Moses' deft kicking game.
After a period of back and forth between each side the Eels once again found themselves down the danger end.
The Eels went to their right edge with prop Peni Terepo turning ball player and popping a short ball to a hard running Manu Ma'u who was simply too big and strong close to the line.
Moses converted and the Eels hit the lead 14-12.
In the 68th minute the Warriors pulled ahead after a Blake Green kick took a wicked bounce for Mitchell Moses and Jazz Tevaga pounced on the loose ball.
Lino converted to give the Warriors an 18-14 lead.
In the 76th minute the Warriors killed the game off through a close-range try to Issac Luke. Mason Lino converted and the Warriors held on to win 24-14.
Parramatta Eels 14 (Tries: Gutherson, Ma'u. Goals: Moses 3/3)
New Zealand Warriors 24 (Tries: Fuistu'a, Hiku, Tavaga, Luke. Goals: Lino 4/5)