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Eels Junior Reps - Round Two

Round Two of the Junior Representative season was a massive home event for the Eels, with four matches staged at Cabramatta’s New Era Stadium.

Proceedings kicked off with the Eels Senior Development Squad facing off against the Bulldogs. 

Parra would prove to be a faster and more cohesive unit than their Canterbury equivalent, running out victors by nine tries to two.

It was a highly entertaining prelude to the three official fixtures against the Eels western Sydney rival.

Round Two Eels Junior Reps Highlights

Tarsha Gale Cup

The value of a quality goal kicker was exemplified in the Tarsha Gale Cup when Alysha Bell’s three conversions provided the six-point winning margin in the Eels victory over the Bulldogs.

Dummy half Ashlee Pottinger struck early for the Eels, crossing for the first try after just two minutes of play.

The Bulldogs appeared to have thwarted her short dash to the line, but she demonstrated great strength in grounding the ball despite the attention of multiple defenders.

Alysha Bell nailed the close range conversion for a six to nil lead.

With momentum falling their way, the Eels received a penalty deep in Bulldogs territory and quickly shifted play to the left. A clever offload from Tahleisha Maeva put Rose Beckett over for a try on debut.   

A superb conversion from out wide by Alysha Bell extended Parra’s lead to twelve points at the ten-minute mark.

Though set completions were harder to come by for both teams for the remainder of the first half, there was the sense that the Bulldogs were growing in confidence.

Only desperate defence from the Eels and critical errors from the visitors kept the 12 nil scoreline from changing before the break. 

As the second half unfolded, the Dogs gained the ascendency via their adventurous second phase play.

The Eels defence was being tested across the park as the Dogs’ forwards were near unstoppable in their quest for offloads.

Parra’s scramble finally wilted when the Bulldogs’ right winger Bree Stone scored in the left corner seven minutes after the break. 

Unfortunately for Canterbury their kicker couldn’t convert from a wide-angle and the Eels still led by more than a converted try.

Possession and penalties were flowing the Bulldogs way and they soon added their second try, this time to Afeni Tabuai-Salee. Once again the wide conversion proved too difficult, but the Eels lead had been reduced to four points with fifteen minutes left on the clock.

Now desperate to halt the Dog’s momentum, the Eels earned repeat sets in attack due to the visitor’s poor discipline. Prop forward Ruby Jean-Kennard then provided the magic as she slipped a ball in traffic for Tahleisha Maeva to cross.

Another brilliant conversion from out wide by Alysha Bell provided a ten point buffer for the Eels with just eight minutes remaining.

That buffer didn’t last long as errors from the Eels in their own quarter invited their opponents back into the game, and Bree Stone duly crossed for her second try in the corner. The Dogs’ inability to convert tries was proving costly and it was obvious that they’d need to score closer to the posts in the final minutes to force a draw.

Chaos reigned supreme in the closing moments of the game as each team traded mistakes in the Eels quarter, with a dropped ball on a penalty tap ending the Bulldogs’ last opportunity to score.

Harold Matthews Cup

It may be a cliche, but the Eels Harold Matthews victory over the Bulldogs was undeniably a game of two halves.

The Eels applied all of the early attacking pressure and it seemed like a matter of how long the Bulldogs could hold out. Unfortunately for Parra, that question was turned on its head between the 12th and 16th minutes when Canterbury’s big prop, Fanafou Seve embarrassed the Eels defence with two soft, short range tries close to the posts.

Errors from both teams punctuated the remainder of the half, and it’s arguable that the 12 to nil scoreline at the break might have flattered the Eels. 

The second half began with the Dogs maintaining momentum until Eels winger Richard Penisini produced a touch of brilliance to get the Eels on the scoreboard. 

He firstly contested and won a towering Blaize Talagi bomb, then conjured up a backhand offload to centre Junior Fagalele who crossed out wide. 

 

A fine conversion from Mohamed Alameddine saw the Dogs lead reduced to six points with twenty minutes remaining.

With the Eels finding their rhythm, poor discipline from Canterbury resulted in their winger being dispatched to the sin bin. It was now time for Matt Arthur to execute his own brand of wizardry out of dummy half. 

After sensing an opportunity to attack the short side, Arthur grubber kicked towards the left corner and the flying Michael Gabrael scooped up the bouncing ball to bring the Eels four points closer.

A missed conversion left the Eels two points adrift of the Dogs with less than ten minutes remaining.

From the restart, a spectacular Eels play on the second tackle drew rapturous applause from the crowd when Lorenzo Talataina and Luke Maroun both handled twice in a 70 metre try scored by Maroun. 

Though the try was unconverted, the Eels now held a two-point lead.

It was that man Arthur who finally wrapped up the game when he turned prop Sam Tuivati back through the ruck and the big forward twisted in contact to plant the ball down next to the posts.

SG Ball Cup

The Eels SG Ball team slumped to two losses from two outings in 2022 when they again struggled for cohesion against the Bulldogs.

Early repeat sets to the Dogs were rewarded with tries to Watisoni Bogiso and William Tuitupou in the 5th and 11th minute respectively.

Two near misses to centre Charlie Guymer proved frustrating for an Eels team trying to get back into the contest and the Dogs poured salt on the wounds with a try of their own on the stroke of half-time.

Bulldogs winger Jonathan Sua delivered that pain when he leapt high to catch a bomb, then beat the Eels defence to the line for the try. His conversion extended Canterbury’s lead to 18 points.

Driving rain greeted the players soon after the start of the second half and the wet conditions brought about some scrappy play. 

Just when it seemed like there would be no change to the scoreboard during the second half, a penalty goal to the Bulldogs in the 60th minute seemed to spark the Eels into a late flurry of attacking play.

Larry Muagututia was the first to score when he stormed onto an Ethan Sanders pass to cross between the posts.

Sanders then produced a 40/20 kick to get his team back downfield and followed that up with a bomb to the right corner to set up a try to Tutonu Junior Wright.

A sideline conversion from Sanders reduced the deficit to 8 points, but an error from the kick-off ensured that Parra’s late run had come to an end.

Tarsha Gale Cup

Eels 18 (Tries: Ashlee Pottinger, Rosemarie Beckett, Tahleisha Maeva  Goals: Alysha Bell 3) defeated Bulldogs 12

Harold Matthews Cup

Eels 20 (Tries: Junior Fagalele, Michael Gabrael, Luke Maroun, Sam Tuivaiti  Goals: Mohamed Alameddine 2) defeated Bulldogs 12

SG Ball Cup

Bulldogs 20 defeated Eels 12 (Tries: Larry Muagututia, Tutonu Junior Wright  Goals: Ethan Sanders 2)

TEAM OF THE WEEK

Debbie Douehi (TG)

Turoa Williams (SG)

Michael Gabreal (HM)

Junior Fagalele (HM)

Luke Maroun (HM)

Tallara Bamblett (TG)

Rose Bekett (TG)

Sam Tuivati (HM)

Matt Arthur (HM)

Ruby-Jean Kennard  (TG)

Tahlesha Maeva (TG)

Dom Destradis (SG)

Summah Terare (TG)

Lei-Lani Tua (TG)

Markis Atoa (SG)

Kasey Quye (TG)

Kobi Hurford (HM)

Acknowledgement of Country

Parramatta Eels respect and honour the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.

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