Genuine wet weather football was the order of the day for the Parramatta Eels junior rep teams in Saturday’s water-logged Round Two fixtures.
Parra Eels Juniors Round 2 Best Moments
In the Harold Matthews Cup, a disciplined first half provided the platform for an Eels victory over the North Sydney Bears at Macquarie University Sports Fields.
Ethan Sanders kept the Bears on the back foot with an intelligent kicking game.
The aggressive kick chase from his teammates reinforced the territorial advantage so important in the conditions.
An early try to lock Myles Martin, followed up by four pointers to Saxon Pryke and Declan Murray put the Blue and Gold up 18 to nil at half time.
Eels fullback Patrick Spence extended the lead shortly after the break, grounding a deft grubber in the Bears' in-goal.
The Bears fought back with a try of their own midway through the second half, but it was too little too late.
The Eels emphasised their dominance through Dom De Stradis, who went on a 30-metre rampage to plant the ball next to the posts.
Patrick Spence wrapped up the scoring just before full time with his second try of the match, capping off a fine game by the Eels custodian.
The SG Ball clash went down to the wire.
when the Eels were forced to come from behind against a courageous Bears outfit. The accurate kicking of Josh Chappell would ultimately provide the difference.
Norths opened the scoring with a try to their dummy half after just two minutes, but the Eels soon stretched the Bears out wide as Tutonu Junior Wright and Jabriel Kalache crossed in the left and right corners respectively. Despite the horizontal rain, Chappell nailed both conversions.
Poor discipline from the Eels put pressure on their defence and Norths took full advantage to score twice and take a 16 to 12 lead into oranges.
An unconverted try just after the resumption extended the home team’s lead to eight points and the upset was on the cards. However, the Eels rallied when Jabriel Kalache and Tyrone Sau combined for a long-range try.
Parramatta played their most disciplined football during the final 20 minutes. Josh Chappell nailed a critical 40/20 and Peter Taateo put the icing on the cake when the defence was unable to stop his powerful charge back into the ruck.
Though there was still time on the clock for a Bears reply, the Eels kicking game ensured that the two point lead would be enough to secure the win.
Unfortunately the Eels could not complete the trifecta after an impressive Newcastle team proved far too strong in their Tarsha Gale encounter at New Era Stadium.
An early arm wrestle gave way to a Knights scoring rush, with the visitors crossing for four tries in establishing an 18 to nil half time lead.
It looked like more of the same when the Novacastrians added a converted try straight after the break, but in a positive sign the Eels girls dug in deep and were unlucky not to score during a resilient second half.
With a host of new players in the squad, the team is looking to strengthen their combinations in both attack and defence. That will come with time together.
Harold Matthews Cup
Parramatta 34 (Tries: Patrick Spence 2, Myles Martin, Saxon Pryke, Declan Murray, Dom De Stradis Goals: Ethan Sanders 5) defeated Norths 6
SG Ball Cup
Parramatta 24 (Tries: Tutonu Junior Wright, Jabriel Kalache, Tyrone Sau, Peter Taateo Goals: Josh Chappell 4) defeated Norths 6
Tarsha Gale Cup
Newcastle 24 defeated Parramatta 0
Round 2 Team of the Week
1 Patrick Spence (HM)
2 Tamerah Leati (TG)
3 Charlie Guymer (HM)
4 Jabriel Kalache (SG)
5 Josh Lealaiaulto (HM)
6 Joshua Chappell (SG)
7 Ethan Sanders (HM)
8 Jontay Junior Mesa Betham (SG)
9 Yehya Ayache (HM)
10 Brock Parker (SG)
11 Summah Terare (TG)
12 Saxon Pryke (HM)
13 Ruby-Jean Kennard (TG)
14 Jacob John (HM)
15 Larry Muagututia (SG)
16 Kamoe Fekitoa (SG)
17 Summer Brown (TG)
Photo credit: bsphotos.com.au