The Parramatta Eels Jersey Flegg side have come away with a dominant 42-6 victory over the Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks at Ringrose Park on Sunday 10 June.
Coming off a disappointing defeat last week, the Eels were facing a Sharks side yet to taste defeat in 2018, and the young Blue & Gold forwards set the tone early with a strong physical showing from the middle men from the opening whistle.
A powerful charge from Sean Keppie saw first points put on the board in the 11th minute of the clash, barging his way over before Todd Sapienza added the extras for a 6-0 lead.
The next points didn’t come until the 26th minute, and whilst the Eels weren’t hurting the Sharks on the scoreboard, they were sending a message with some rattling and dominant defence.
The aggressive defence was rewarded with points when forward Michael Tupou, who started off the bench this week, crashed over next to the posts in the 26th minute for a converted try.
The Sharks struck back through lock forward Joshua Carr in the 31st minute, before Dylan Brown, who returned from injury in the halves, laid on a nice try for winger Taufa Afu to score out wide.
The Eels taking a 18-6 lead into the half time sheds.
The second half resumed where the first half left off, with the same defensive intensity from the Eels forwards laying a strong platform for the Blue & Gold outside backs.
Haze Dunster crossed over out wide in the 48th minute before Noel Aukafolau claimed a towering bomb to score minutes later to extend the Eels lead.
An individual try from half Sapienza, dummying and slicing his way through the Sharks defence from ten metres out put the Eels well in front, claiming a 32-6 lead with 20 minutes to go.
Brown one upped his halves partner, with a dummy, chip and chase before regathering and beating the Sharks fullback to cross for converted try.
The Eels defence held strong on their own line late, as the Sharks looked for late consolation points, before Dunster claimed an intercept before running near the length of the field to score his second of the afternoon, putting a stamp on a dominant 42-6 victory.
A bullish performance by the Eels forwards to lay a strong platform early, leaving the Sharks battered and bruised in the Blue & Gold eight try to one victory.
Parramatta Eels 42 (Tries: Haze Dunster (2), Sean Keppie, Michael Tupou, Taufa Afu, Noel Aukafolau, Todd Sapienza, Dylan Brown; Goals: Todd Sapienza 5/8)
Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks 6 (Tries: Joshua Carr; Goals: Braydon Trindall 1/1)