As the Parramatta Eels prepare to face the Canberra Raiders at Bankwest Stadium on Saturday 27 June in Round 7 of the NRL Telstra Premiership, we take a look at the last time these two sides met.
The clash occurred nearly a year ago to the day, when the Blue & Gold reeled back a 16-0 deficit to come away with a six point victory in the Eels’ home away from home, Darwin’s TIO Stadium.
A double to Blake Ferguson, along with tries to Manu Ma’u and Mitchell Moses saw the Eels come away with the two points over the eventual 2019 Grand Finalists. See the match highlights and the report from the clash below!
Match Highlights: Eels v Raiders, Round 15
Eels v Raiders – Round 15, 2019 Match Report (Saturday 29 June 2020)
Parramatta planted themselves back in the top eight by not panicking when the Raiders jumped out of the gates early, reeling back an 16-0 deficit to win 22-16 win at Darwin's TIO Stadium.
The Eels were trying to maintain the rage after a domineering 38-10 win over the Broncos before rep round intervened. They not only did that, they jumped over the top of the Wests Tigers on the NRL ladder to remain in the eight.
Canberra were aiming for a fourth straight win after accounting for the Bulldogs, Wests Tigers and Sharks. But the scent went cold in the Northern Territory, not that five-eighth Jack Wighton gave up trying.
The NSW Origin centre was the energy source for his team most of the night. He ran for 125 metres, had eight tackle busts, two line breaks and scored a try.
But the Eels somehow mustered enough enthusiasm to overrun the Raiders, keeping them scoreless in the second half. And they did it with virtually one hand tied behind their back considering they didn't complete 13 of their 41 sets.
However, halves Mitchell Moses and Dylan Brown were reunited after 13 weeks – Brown recovering from a stress fracture in his back – and it showed as their communication stepped up as the match wore on.
It was the Raiders who started with plenty of pep, scoring in the third minute off the back of a 30-metre dash by Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad.
Two more tries to Jack Wighton, in a simple dummy-half surge, and Sebastian Kris off an Aidan Sezer kick, and Ricky Stuart's men appeared to be sitting pretty at 16-0.
But then the chants of 'Parra, Parra' by the Darwin locals finally worked some magic with two Eels tries in the final three minutes of the half – Manu Ma'u with a show-and-go followed by a traditional Blake Ferguson sneaky one inside the right corner just seconds from the hooter.
Brad Arthur's men had clawed back some momentum to start the second half only trailing by four, 16-12.
In the second half, errors from both sides plagued the spectacle early. But then Ferguson intercepted a Jarrod Croker pass to race 85 metes in the 61st minute before Moses danced passed three quality defenders in Elliott Whitehead, Croker and Nicoll-Klokstad to score five minutes later.
The win moved the Eels back into eighth spot on for and against while the Raiders wasted a chance to move into a share of second spot.