Eels toughen up to down Bulldogs
The Parramatta Eels have taken down the rival Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs 14-8 in their Round 19 Telstra Premiership clash at ANZ Stadium on Thursday night.
It was tight down to the final seconds as the Bulldogs reduced the margin down from eight points to six with seven minutes to go.
The Eels, led by Nathan Brown's 26 runs, 252 metres and 40 tackles, muscled up against a big Canterbury pack.
The visitors had the first points in the 7th minute as Kerrod Holland split the Eels line from 10 meters out. Rhyse Martin converted from under the posts for a 6-0 lead.
It was the only points the Blue & Gold would concede in the first half despite the Bulldogs dominating field position in the first 25 minutes.
Nathan Brown stopped Canterbury from going 10 points ahead in the 21st minute by diving on a ball that sat up on the try line for a couple of seconds. It came about from a Lachlan Lewis grubber kick after a Reimis Smith line break at halfway.
Brett Morris was sent to the sin bin with 10 minutes to go in the first half, after committing a professional foul on Bevan French in a try scoring situation.
The Eels took advantage four minutes later when Tepai Moeroa busted his way through the line on a hit-up near halfway. Kaysa Pritchard loomed in support and took on Moeroa's pass to sprint the remaining 30 metres to the line. New goal kicker Mitchell Moses converted from the left wing and locked up the scores to halftime.
Controversially, Brad Takairangi was denied a try or a penalty in the 49th minute when Josh Morris jostled for the loose ball.
Canterbury couldn't keep the Eels out much longer, a Lachlan Lewis grubber kick deflected behind his players and Moses was first to collect and dash 85 metres for the solo try.
A penalty goal from Moses created an eight-point buffer with 12 minutes to go. The Bulldogs rallied upfield quickly and elected for a penalty goal, bringing the margin to six points with seven minutes left.
Pritchard hadn't played since Round 9 due to injury and was one of the Eels' best in front of 8,437 on a mild night at Sydney Olympic Park.
Parramatta Eels 14 (Tries: Pritchard, Moses. Goals: Moses (2/2) Penalty Goals: Moses (1/1)
Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs 8 (Tries: Holland. Goals: Martin (1/1) (Martin 1/1)