Parramatta Eels, off the back of a near-perfect second half have defeated South Sydney Rabbitohs 38-20 at Ringrose Park.
It didn’t take long for the first points to be recorded, as Bunnies winger Steven Masters bumped off Jordan Rankin to score in the fifth minute of the match.
Eels v Rabbitohs NSW Cup Highlights Round 7
Parramatta worked hard and off the back of repeated pressure found their reward. Elie El-Zakhem carried defenders to the line as he pushed the Eels in front, holding a slim 2-point lead.
Moments later it was too easy for the Eels as Sean Russell scooped up a dropped ball, racing 65 meters to dive over under the posts.
The Eels persisted with tough defence but eventually were breached, as Souths winger Nick Mougios cashed in on a slick backline move down the right-hand side.
Errors seemed to ruin both sides chances of more points to round out the first half, until a smart kick from Troy Dargan close to the line allowed Masters to pick up his second try of the match. The Bunnies ran into the sheds leading the Eels 16-12.
Inside the first three minutes of the second half, the Eels hit back. The ball seemingly stuck in a pinball machine, ricocheted into the hands of Sean Russell who scored his second try of the match, levelling the scores at 16-16.
The game continued to swing, with Souths putting their foot back on the gas. An Eels mistake allowed the Bunnies to throw the ball around, gifting Nick Mougios his second try, the third double of the match.
Parramatta, only trailing by four points worked upfield past some tired Souths defence, sending Haze Dunster through close to the line, again levelling the scores.
Brilliant ball playing from chief playmaker Jakob Arthur saw Ryan Matterson, in his first match since round two, waltz over for the Eels.
Parramatta’s left edge continued to fire. A crash play saw lock Keegan Hipgrave join in on the point scoring, as the Eels drifted away to a 12-point lead.
The second half went from bad to worse for the Bunnies, with Tautau Moga sent from the field, presumably for decent toward the sideline official after a forward pass call.
Parramatta wasted no time capitalising on the extra man advantage, scoring in the following set. Jordan Rankin converted his try, pushing the Eels ahead by 18 points.
South’s braved on a man down, unable to fight their way back into the match and the Eels were victorious in the end, defeating the Bunnies 38-20.
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