The Eels junior rep teams have made their long-awaited return to play, lining up for Round One of the 2021 junior representative season.
Parra Eels Juniors Round 1 Best Moments
Set completions are sure to figure prominently at training this week after all three grades fell in the first round.
At Cabramatta, both the Manly Sea Eagles and Parramatta Eels traded errors in the damp conditions during a stop-start first half in the Harold Matthews Cup.
Eels back-rower Dom De Stradis opened the scoring for the Blue and Gold when a powerful charge off an unders line saw him crash over next to the posts.
Momentum was difficult to achieve for both teams, but the Sea Eagles finally clicked with a converted try to level the scores at six all just before half time.
Ethan Sanders took the Eels to an eight point lead midway through the second half, converting his own solo try then kicking a penalty goal soon after.
But it was the Sea Eagles who finished best, adding three tries in the last ten minutes to run out 22 to 14 victors.
The Northern Beaches visitors also proved strong in the second stanza in a highly physical SG Ball Cup encounter.
Both sides surrendered players to the sin bin during an eventful first half.
The Sea Eagles took full advantage during their period with an extra man, securing an early 12 point lead.
The Eels returned serve when the Sea Eagles were reduced to 12 players just before half time.
Hooker Drew Lloyd found a charging Brock Parker who crashed over between the posts.
Tutonu Junior Wright erased the Eels deficit after the break, grounding a clever Josh Chappell kick.
Chappell’s conversion, followed by a successful penalty kick, put the Eels in front for the first time in the match.
A converted Sea Eagles try saw the lead change again, before Jabriel Kalache did it all himself in a slashing 30 metre dash to the line, which put the Eels ahead 20 to 18 with 14 minutes left on the clock.
Poor completions and penalties proved to be the Eels’ nemesis in the final 10 minutes as the Sea Eagles posted two late tries to run out 10 point winners.
Over at Leichhardt Oval, it was another case of missed opportunities for the Eels' Tarsha Gale Cup team.
After withstanding early pressure on their line, the Eels were first to score when Tahleisha Pugh crossed, but two tries to the Tigers had them leading 10 to 6 at oranges.
Parramatta looked confident coming out of the sheds, and when Loreen Luamanuvae scored, they hit the final 15 minutes with a two-point buffer.
Unfortunately for the girls in Blue and Gold, a run of penalties and possession to the Tigers proved to be telling, with the momentum running their way.
The home team added three tries to take the win, 22 to 12.
Despite the loss, the Eels showed tremendous resilience under pressure to put themselves in a position to win.
Like his Matts and Ball colleagues, coach Ryan Walker will be looking to improve completions in the lead up to Round Two.
Harold Matthews Cup
Manly Sea Eagles 22 defeated Parramatta Eels 14 (Tries: Dom De Stradis, Ethan Sanders Goals: Ethan Sanders 2)
SG Ball Cup
Manly Sea Eagles 30 defeated Parramatta Eels 20 (Tries: Brock Parker, Tutonu Junior Wright, Jabriel Kalache Goals: Josh Chappell 4)
Tarsha Gale Cup
Wests Tigers 22 defeated Parramatta Eels 12 (Tries: Tahleisha Pugh, Loreen Luamanuvae Goals: Summah Terare 2)
Round 1 Team of the Week
1. Demia Pritchard (Tarsha Gale)
2. Suliasi Aho (Harold Matthews)
3. Charlie Guymer (Harold Matthews)
4. Tahleisha Pugh (Tarsha Gale)
5. Josh Lealaiaulto (Harold Matthews)
6. Loreen Luamanuvae (Tarsha Gale)
7. Ethan Sanders (Harold Matthews)
8. Jontay Junior Mesa Betham (SG Ball)
9 . Yehya Ayache (Harold Matthews)
10. Martha Fua (Tarsha Gale)
11. Peter Taatao (SG Ball)
12. Domenic Destradis (Harold Matthews)
13. Ruby-Jean Kennard (Tarsha Gale)
14. Blaise Talagi (Harold Matthews)
15. Larry Muagututia (SG Ball)
16. Taimani Kolomati (Tarsha Gale)
17. Vlado Jankovic (SG Ball)