It was the Jakob Arthur and Jordan Rankin show at Bankwest Stadium on Friday night.
The Parramatta Eels playmakers put a disrupted North Sydney team to the sword, running out 39-0 winners in The Knock-on Effect NSW Cup.
Eels v Bears NSW Cup Highlights Round 9
Being the feeder club for the injury-ravaged Sydney Roosters in the NRL, meant that the latest COVID restrictions threw the Bears preparations into total disarray, with several players forced to enter the Roosters NRL bubble.
Despite all these problems in the lead-up, it was actually North Sydney who created a few opening try-scoring opportunities and were it not for handling errors at crucial times, could well have gone ahead.
Instead, Parramatta scored the first points, as Michael Oldfield ran on to a pinpoint Jakob Arthur cutout pass down the left edge, to score in the 22nd minute. Jordan Rankin added the extras, as the Eels led 6-0 after 22 minutes.
Rankin would be back in the action seven minutes later, in what was almost a mirror image of the first try, sending a well-timed ball to fullback and recent recruit Hayze Perham for the home side’s second try. Rankin again added the extras to make it 12-0, which would remain the scoreline at halftime.
Whatever Parramatta coach Ryan Carr said to his side at the break clearly worked, as the Eels shot out of the gate to start the second stanza. Good pressure inside the Bears 20, eventually sent the ball wide again to Oldfield who this time managed an off-load for winger Sean Russell to dive over.
The Eels were camped on the Bears try line just a few minutes later, as sustained pressure eventually paid off as right wing Lalotoa Mata’afa ran in a try, which was clinical in the end.
Parramatta threatened to run away with the match, as Rankin converted to make the score 22-0, then laid on another try with a nicely weighted chip kick from 20 metres out. The bounce eventually sat up for second rower Elie El-Zakhem to score.
Despite this turning into a very tough night at the office, Norths wouldn’t give up the fight, as they came close to scoring on a few more occasions, but just failed to add the finishing touches.
The Eels had no such struggles, as a Jordan Rankin break from a turnover led to left wing Russell bagging himself a double, while dummy half Nathaniel Roache offered plenty off the bench and laid on a nice short ball for back-rower Ky Rodwell to crash over beside the sticks.
Rankin would eventually finish with 10 points, two try assists and a line break in the seven tries to nil thumping, while Jakob Arthur finished off a very tidy game of his own, with a drop goal right on full-time.
The loss snaps North Sydney’s two game winning streak, who will look to bounce back next week against Wests, while the Eels remain unbeaten at home this season heading into the bye.
By Gerard Cronin