The Parramatta Eels Jersey Flegg side suffered a 34-22 defeat to the South Sydney Rabbitohs in their pre-season trial clash at Ringrose Park, Wentworthville on Friday 21 February.
Fielding a relatively young Blue & Gold outfit, the home side raced out of the blocks with three tries in the opening ten minutes of the clash to earn themselves a 18-0 lead.
Opportunities were presented to them when the Rabbitohs kicked out on the full on two occasions, before some brutal defence from the Eels deep inside the Rabbitohs half presented good attacking field position.
Fullback Sean Russell chimed into the Eels backline for a slick backline movement that saw back rower Charbel Tasipale pour through a gap, step the fullback and barge his way over for the first of the afternoon.
Strong charges through the middle found lock Tasi James powering over the line from short range for the second try in quick succession, building a 12-0 lead after seven minutes, before the lock had his second of the afternoon three minutes later when prop Sam Hughes tipped the ball on to the charging forward for his second.
Back to back errors from the Eels found the away side with their first opportunity down the Blue & Gold end, and they came away with points when their right winger crossed after a string of passes.
The Eels looked dominant through the middle of the field with props David Hollis and Sam Hughes making plenty of inroads through the Rabbitohs defensive line, and the Eels looked to extend their lead before a knock on was ruled.
Souths made it a 12 point turn around, when some strong charges saw them roll down field before their dummy half barged over near the posts to close the gap to just a converted try after 25 minutes.
The Rabbitohs levelled the scores with just five minutes remaining on the clock of the first half, crashing over to the right of the posts.
The Eels hit back quickly when Albert Etu-Faavae offloaded a ball to Tasipale, who charged through the line and won the 40m sprint to the line to score his second of the afternoon.
The Eels taking a 22-18 lead at half time.
The second half saw plenty of team changes for the young Blue & Gold side, with the Eels looking to test their depth and different combinations for the final 35 minutes.
The Rabbitohs struck first, catching the Eels left edge defence short, as their right winger crossed out wide for an unconverted try.
Opportunities went begging for the Blue & Gold as they looked to push passes and force the issue down the Rabbitohs end, and it was the away team who scrambled and defended strongly out wide to defend their try line.
Errors began to creep into the game and it took an individual effort from the Rabbitohs fullback, who loomed in support after a break down right edge, to put the next points on the board, cross for a long range try to give the Rabbitohs a 28-22 lead with just 10 minutes remaining in the trial.
The Rabbitohs crossed again with a barging try underneath the posts with 8 minutes remaining on the clock.
Desperate for points and the siren nearing, the Eels chanced their hand close to the Rabbitohs line however a heavy grubber ran dead ending any opportunity for a grandstand finish.
The Eels Jersey Flegg side going down 34-22.