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The Parramatta Eels opened their 2021 NSW Cup account with a 22-20 win at Bankwest Stadium over a Newtown Jets side.

The Jets threatened to steal at least a share of the competition points, having come back from 22-0 down early in the second half.

For the relatively inexperienced victors, five-eighth Jordan Rankin led the way setting up two tries, while Bronson Garlick was enormous for the gallant Jets, scoring two tries and setting up another.

Parramatta got off to a great start scoring in the 12th minute through their winger Haze Dunster, who outleapt the Jets’ outside backs to score off a Rankin cross-field kick in the south-west corner and with Rankin’s sideline conversion, the home side led 6-0.

A forward pass deep inside the Eels 20 was duly punished with a blindside raid that put Dunster away on a long break down the touchline, before Will Penisini dummied outside to crash over out wide to put the home side 10-0 ahead in the 18th minute which they took into half time.

An Andrew Fifita error early in the second half allowed the Eels to extend their lead to 16 when back-rower Elie El-Zakhem stepped his way through some tiring Jets defence to score next to the post.

Parramatta Eels v Newtown Jets - NSW Cup Highlights, Round Three

In the very next set the Eels made it 22-0 with a long-range try finished off by Nathaniel Roache after Rankin broke through the Jets’ left edge defence from inside his own half.

The Jets finally opened their account in the 53rd minute when back-rower Bronson Garlick stepped his way through the Eels defence to score untouched behind the posts and with Trindall’s conversion, the Jets had a sniff at 22-6.

The Jets’ ability to create pressure inside the Eels 20 through repeat sets was rewarded in the 58th minute with Brock Gray crashing over out wide, putting Newtown back in the game at 22-10.

The Jets capitalised on a no-try decision against the Eels with 13 minutes remaining to score a converted long-range try of their own through Trindall in the 72nd minute, who was the beneficiary of a marvellous inside pass from Garlick.

The Jets, now playing with plenty of purpose and energy, scored their fourth unanswered try with five minutes left through Garlick, who stormed onto a short pass to score his second, but crucially Trindall couldn’t level the scores with his conversion attempt from out wide.

Despite a last-ditch two-point field goal attempt from the Jets, the tiring Eels managed to hold on 22-20.

Article by Stewart Moses