Eels hold on for crucial win
Three Parramatta Eels tries within eight minutes at the back end of the first half created a 22-8 half-time lead and an eventual 28-12 win over the Gold Coast Titans on Saturday night at ANZ Stadium.
Eels co-captain Tim Mannah came on for his second half stint and was sent to the sin bin with 13 minutes to go for too many Eels infringements.
But errors from the away side and strong Parramatta defence sealed the win. Corey Norman scored off his own grubber kick in the 76th minute to begin the celebration.
Mannah got his sixth career try in the sixth minute, muscling past Ryan James, Kevin Proctor and Ash Taylor on a hit up.
Sitting on a 6-0 lead after 18 minutes, the Titans hit back through an acrobatic Anthony Don corner try.
Former Eel Michael Gordon missed the sideline conversion to leave the Eels with a two-point buffer.
Parramatta was lucky not to be trailing by more than 8-6 when Phillip Sami crossed on the other wing in the 22nd minute.
Jarryd Hayne, playing against the Gold Coast Titans for the first time since 2014, erased the deficit with a solo effort to score near the tryline at left centre in the 27th minute.
The Eels wasted no time scoring again for a 16-8 lead in the 29th minute. Peni Terepo’s linebreak had the Titans scrambling and unable to stop Bevan French on an overlap in the corner.
Momentum continued in Parramatta’s favour as George Jennings was the last of all four wingers in tonight’s game to score a try. Clinton Gutherson gave him time and space with a quick catch and pass.
Mitchell Moses had three first half sideline conversions and converted two.
The Titans threatened to come back when Don pulled in a Moses pass and ran 90 metres to for a 22-12 53rd minute score.
The win brings Parramatta level for season wins with the North Queensland Cowboys and Manly Sea Eagles, but still 16th based on point differential.
Tepai Moeroa left the field for a head injury assessment in the 29th minute, bringing Kane Evans into the game for his first NRL action since Round 6. Moeroa returned to start the second half.
Jaeman Salmon entered the match in the 65th minute on his NRL debut. He replaced Bevan French, Corey Norman went to fullback and Gutherson to the wing.
Reed Mahoney played the entire game after making his first NRL start.
The Eels next play the St. George Illawarra Dargons on Saturday 11 August 7:35pm at ANZ Stadium.
Parramatta Eels 28 Tries: Mannah, Hayne, French, G.Jennings, Norman. Goals: Moses (4/5)
Gold Coast Titans 12 Tries: Don (2), Sami. Goals: Gordon (0/3)