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Eels' Harold Matthews progress to GF qualifier

The Eels wrapped up their regular round season of the Junior Representative Program with wins in all three grades against the Sharks.

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Week 10 Junior Rep Highlights

Despite this success, only the Harold Matthews team has qualified for finals football.

Saturday’s triple-header began with Parra’s Tarsha Gale team completely dominating their opponents from the Shire. 

Following the game plan of winning the middle then hitting the edges, the Eels compiled a 20 to nil half-time lead through tries to Ruby-Jean Kennard, Katalina Vave, Lucie Whitehead and Tahleisha Pugh.

Set completions were high and the team was playing with terrific energy and composure.

Though the Sharks scored two tries of their own after the break, the Eels put a stranglehold on the match with Losalio Sita Payne and Tamerah Leati crossing for tries during the second half.

As has been the case during the season, props Payne and Kennard laid a powerful platform through their work in the middle third. They were strongly supported by Kristen Cawthorne, Summah Terare and Tahleisha Pugh.

The Eels finished 7th on the ladder, with the Sharks qualifying for the finals in 6th place. It was very pleasing for the team to deliver their most complete performance in this match. 

Congratulations are extended to coach Ryan Walker and his staff for the team’s development during this season.

In the second match of the day, the Eels Harold Matthews side secured a highly coveted top two placing with their convincing victory over the Sharks.

Unlike the Tarsha Gale match, the Matts team was somewhat low in energy during a tight first half. Tries to Sam Tuivaiti and Declan Murray provided them with a 10 to 6 lead at the break, but their opponents were very much in the contest.

The second half would prove to be a vastly different affair as the Eels pack asserted their dominance. As they rolled forward, the opportunities began to open up out wider.

Tries to Suliasi Aho, Blaize Talagi, and Raffaele De Stradis completed the second-half scoring as Parra hit 30 points for the match. 

Talagi followed up his starring performance last week with another strong game today. Others to impress were Myles Martin, Yehya Ayache and Charlie Guymer.

It’s been an outstanding season so far for coach Steve O’Dea and his staff, and the team can be rightly proud of their second placing on the ladder. 

However, the job is not yet complete. Their second-place finish gives them a bye in the first week of the finals. The grand final qualifier awaits in two weeks.

Finally, the Eels SG Ball team finished their season with a resounding 54 to 18 win over the Sharks. 

Parra’s forwards set the tone for this match. From Peter Taateo’s try in the first minute through to Drew Lloyd’s four-pointer in the 67th minute, the Eels pack not only provided the winning platform but also featured six times on the try-scoring list.

All up, the Blue and Golds added nine tries in a devastating display.

Their 30 to 6 half-time lead came through tries to Taateo, Tyrone Sau, Larry Muagututia, Jontay-Junior Betham-Misa, and Sione Tapuosi. 

Four more tries were added during the second half as the Eels pack continued to skittle their opposition. Koevy Lemusu, Francis Tuitino, Freeman Forsythe, and Drew Lloyd each crossed for four-pointers which Josh Chappell duly converted into six-pointers.

Larry Muagututia, Peter Taateo, Jontay-Junior Betham-Misa were standouts, as were Brock Parker and Tyrone Sau. Indeed, statisticians might have experienced some difficulties in keeping up with Sau’s tackle-breaks.

Sitting in equal 6th with the Steelers, Parra entered this match 17 points behind the Steelers in the points differential. Unfortunately for the Eels, the Steelers humiliated the Bears 80 to 10 in their final match, making the Eels' quest to run down that differential lead quite impossible.

With so many SG Ball age-eligible players elevated to the Eels NSW Cup and Flegg teams, coach Craig Brennan and his staff can feel proud of their squad giving the finals a genuine nudge. As a result of those elevations, more players were given the opportunity to showcase their potential at the SG Ball level, and the side validated this policy in only losing two games during the season.

Tarsha Gale Cup

Eels 30 (Tries: Ruby-Jean Kennard, Katalina Vave, Lucie Whitehead, Tahleisha Pugh, Losalio Sita Payne, Tamerah Leati   Goals: Summah Terare 3) defeated Cronulla 12

Harold Matthews Cup

Eels 30 (Tries: Sam Tuivaiti, Declan Murray, Charlie Guymer, Suliasi Aho, Blaize Talagi, Raffaele De Stradis   Goals: Ethan Sanders 3) defeated Cronulla 10

SG Ball Cup

Eels 54 (Tries: Peter Taateo, Tyrone Sau, Larry Muagututia, Jontay-Junior Betham-Misa, Sione Tapuosi, Koevy Lemusu, Francis Faaofo Tuitino, Freeman Forsythe, Drew Lloyd   Goals: Josh Chappell 9) defeated Cronulla 18

Junior Reps Team of the Week

1. Patrick Spence (HM)

2. Chelsee Austin (TG)  

3. Tyron Sau (SG)

4. Tahleisha Pugh (TG)  

5. Sione Tapu'osi (SG)   

6. Katalina Vave (TG)     

7. Josh Chappell (SG)     

8. Ruby-Jean Kennard (TG)          

9. Kristen Cawthorne (TG)           

10. Losalio Payne (TG)  

11. Summah Terare (TG)

12. Peter Taatao (SG)    

13. Myles Martin (HM) 

14. Lei-Lani Tua (TG)      

15. Jacob John (HM)      

16. Francis Faaofo Tuitino (SG)

17. Josh Alhazim (HM)