Young Eels downed by Roosters

The Parramatta Eels Jersey Flegg side suffered a 20-12 defeat to the Sydney Roosters in Round Three of the Jersey Flegg competition on Friday 29 March at ANZ Stadium.

The young Blue & Gold side found themselves on the back foot early when off the back of back to back penalties, Roosters prop Daniel Fifita crashed his way over the line in the third minute of the clash to give the away side an early 6-0 lead.

The talented Roosters line up had the Eels pinned inside their own half as the away side built plenty of early pressure with a wealth of possession.

However the Eels defence rebounded from the early try strongly, with solid defence on their own line, repelling several sets at a time.

Down the other end of the field, despite forcing several repeat sets off the back of fullback John Fonua short kicking game, crucial errors from the Eels relieved any pressure they attempted to build inside the Roosters half.

An error close to the half time bell gifted the Roosters with an opportunity to extend their lead and right centre Ethan O’Neill broke through the line and converted his own try to give the away side a 12-0 lead going into the sheds.

The Eels however struck back early in the second half, when interchange forward Bruce Ward bulldozed his way over the line to score a converted try underneath the posts.

After weathering a strong portion of play to the Roosters, errors began creeping into the away side’s game and the Blue & Gold began to capitalise.

A try to livewire hooker Vea Tapa’atoutai, who burrowed his way through the Roosters defence close to the line, levelled the scores to two converted tries a piece.

The Roosters went over through winger Bayleigh Benley-Hape in the 49th minute when he crossed after a long cut out ball, with the away side taking back a lead through a converted try.

The Eels looked to have struck back with their next possession of the football, but a crucial penalty was blown when the Eels contested a high ball which would of led to a try to Eels out wide.

The penalty halted the Eels momentum, and despite their best efforts to score again to level the score the Roosters defence held strong.

A penalty from 20m our to the left of the posts saw the Roosters extend their lead to beyond a converted try with 5 minutes remaining on the clock.

No points were scored in the final five minutes of play with the Eels suffering their second loss of the season, 20-12 to the Sydney Roosters.

The Eels Jersey Flegg side will clash with the first placed Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks at McCredie Oval on Sunday 6 April in round four of the competition.

Parramatta Eels Jersey Flegg 12 (Tries: Bruce Ward, Vea Tapa’atoutai; Goals: Bailey Biondi-Odo (2))

Def by

Sydney Roosters Jersey Flegg 20 (Tries: Daniel Fifita, Ethan O’Neill, Bayleigh Bentley-Hape; Goals: Ethan ONeill (4))