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Parramatta kept their top four hopes alive and left Brisbane's finals aspirations in jeopardy as the Broncos failed to overcome the early loss of Adam Reynolds to crash to a 53-6 defeat.

Reynolds suffered a head knock in the 13th minute as he and winger Jordan Pereira attempted to tackle Shaun Lane, and the star halfback's 250th match celebrations ended when he failed a HIA.

Queensland Origin forward Thomas Flegler suffered a throat injury before half-time and was taken to hospital, while Kobe Hetherington (head knock) and Brenko Lee (hamstring) also failed to finish the match.

The Broncos have now conceded 113 points in their past two matches against the Storm and Eels and will fall out of the top eight if Canberra beat Newcastle at GIO Stadium on Saturday as the Raiders now have a better for-and-against.    

The Adam Reynolds injury

For the Eels, the win keeps them in touch with the fourth-placed Storm, who they play next Thursday night, and if they can overcome Melbourne a finals clash with Penrith in the first weekend of the finals beckons. 

Match snapshot

  • The signs were ominous for the Broncos even before losing Reynolds, with Parramatta props Reagan Campbell-Gillard and Junior Paulo combining with halfback Mitchell Moses to put Maika Sivo over for the opening try in the 10th minute.

Sivo scores superb opener

  • Reynolds was forced from the field just wo minutes later and his Brisbane team-mates struggled to adapt, with Sivo kicking infield for centre partner Tom Opacic to score in the 16th minute.
  • Things went from bad to worse for the Broncos when the kick-off sailed over the dead ball line and from the re-start the Eels marched down field before captain Clint Gutherson reached out to score.

The King stretches out

  • Flegler was placed on report for a shoulder charge on Campbell-Gillard from the ensuing kick-off before Eels halfback Mitchell Moses created space for winger Waqa Blake with a cut-out pass and backed up to score in the 26th minute.
  • Former Queensland Origin representative Brenko Lee gave Brisbane fans some hope when he scored from a scrum win to reduce the deficit to 24-6 in the 29th minute.

Lee crosses for a much needed try

  • However, it was only a brief respite, as Gutherson grabbed his second try in the 36th minute and Moses landed a field goal on the stroke of halftime.
  • It took the Eels until the 65th minute to score their opening second half try, through second-rower Isaiah Papali'i but the floodgates threatened to re-open when centre Will Penisini crossed three minutes later.

Penisini jumps on the loose ball

  • Opacic crossed for his second try against his former club with just two minutes remaining before Blake bought up the half century of points for Parramatta with a try on the last tackle of the match.

Opacic completes the double

Play of the game

The Eels led just 6-0 and the Broncos had a scrum feed 20-metres from their line  when Clint Gutherson produced a one-on-one strip after Jake Turpin picked the ball up from the base of the scrum and Tom Opacic scored two tackles later.

The 16th minute try was a spectacular effort after Fijian winger Maika Sivo raced down the left touchline and kicked in-field for Opacic, who caught the ball on the full and overcame the efforts of three Brisbane defenders to ground the ball.

The Eels left side is humming

What they said

"It was terrible. We didn't start very well and finished poorly as well. It's just disappointing for everyone. We need to fix our attitude more than anything else. I am not going to make any excuses, it just hasn't been good enough. I think we had 38 per cent of the ball again tonight, it's about our lack of discipline with the ball, our seven tackle sets, kicks that don't need to be kicked and all those little things that we weren't doing a month ago that we seem to be doing now. It is a momentum swing, sometimes it is hard to get it back and we are struggling with it at the moment. Coaches, players and everyone next week, we have just got to be at our best and see where that takes us," - Broncos coach Kevin Walters.

Broncos: Round 24

"Credit to the boys, on the back of a five day turn-around they started with great physicality and we were just hard to handle. Our intensity in defence was excellent. What Reg and Junior and Marata were doing at the start of the game was allowing our halves to play with a lot more time and space and then when Matto come on he really changes the context of the game for us. I think we are in a better position today than this time last year but we've always had tough contests against the Storm and that has got to be a priority for us, not worrying about the finals," - Eels coach Brad Arthur. 

Eels: Round 24

What's next 

The Broncos need to beat the Dragons next Saturday or hope the Raiders lose their two remaining matches against the Knights and Tigers to have any chance of securing a top eight spot.

A promising season for Brisbane after failing to make the finals since 2019 will end in disappointment if they fall short and coach Kevin Walters will be sweating on the the availability of Reynolds for the trip to Kogarah.

Flegler was also placed on report for a shoulder charge on Reagan Campbell-Gillard, whose forearm he copped to the throat while attempting a tackler later in the match.

On a positive note, star forward Patrick Carrigan is due to return from suspension, while Queensland Origin winger Selwyn Cobbo could also return after being rested against Parramatta.

English centre Herbie Farnworth is waiting on a medical clearance to resume after a three month lay-off with a bicep injury.

The Eels host the Storm next Thursday night in a match which could determine fourth spot.

Nathan Brown is the only big name player who may return after being sidelined with a finger injury. 

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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