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Victory eludes brave Eels in NRLW Titans v Eels

A courageous comeback by the Parramatta Eels’ NRLW side fell just short in an 18-16 loss to the Gold Coast Titans at AAMI Park on Saturday.


Spearheaded by co-captain Simaima Taufa and rookie forward Rima Butler, Parramatta produced a second-half surge to take their clash with the Titans down to the wire after trailing by 14 points at the break.


It was the Eels’ second spirited performance in as many weeks following their devastating loss to competition heavyweights Newcastle – but cruelly, victory again proved elusive.


Despite the result, a semi-finals berth remains within reach.


The Eels could clinch fourth place with a six-point victory over Brisbane next week, should the Roosters also defeat the Titans in their match-up.


Coach Dean Widders can take plenty of positives from the Titans loss into next week’s must-win match.


Simaima Taufa pitched in with a tremendous captain’s knock including 173 run metres and a game-high 45 tackles, while rookies Zali Fay and Rima Butler impressed as they each scored their first NRLW try.


Fay opened the Eels’ account, applying the finishing touch to a short side play down the left wing.


Taufa then took matters into her own hands to inspire the Eels’ second-half fightback. After receiving the football 25 metres out from the try line, she split through the defence and beat the fullback to cruise over.


Soon after, she saved a certain Steph Hancock try with a masterful piece of goal-line defence.


In just her second NRLW appearance, young bench forward Rima Butler stamped her authority on the match to edge the Eels closer to victory.


Butler put Parramatta on the attack midway through the second half when she sliced through the defence with some excellent direct running, before producing a powerful effort to barge over the try line with six minutes to play.


This put the Eels three points away from a famous win, though it was not to be.


Rather than mulling over the heart-wrenching result, co-captain Tiana Penitani turned her attention towards improvement in the post-match press conference.


“There are a lot of sore hearts at the moment in our changerooms,” Penitani said.


“But we have to move forward and we’ve got to put our hands up individually and take responsibility for the way we played today.”


The Eels will fight for a place in the NRLW semi-finals when they tackle the Broncos at Central Coast Stadium next Sunday.



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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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