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Junior Reps Round 5 Wrap-Up: Two important wins in Canberra

The Eels made a road trip to Canberra for Round 5 of the SG Ball, Harold Matthews and Tarsha Gale Cup seasons.

Despite sitting below Canberra on the ladder in all three grades, the Eels emerged victorious in two matches as the Tarsha Gale and Harold Matthews teams maintained their momentum entering the back half of the season.

Tarsha Gale Cup: Eels’ ladder climb continues in Canberra

The Eels surged to equal-fourth place in the Tarsha Gale Cup with a comfortable 26-12 win over the Canberra Raiders.

Now unbeaten in four matches over the past month, the win sees Parramatta leapfrog their opponents on the table with just three matches and a bye remaining in the regular season.

Alysha Bell enjoyed another strong game, scoring two tries and kicking five goals from five attempts in an 18-point haul.

A line break from centre Lindsay Tui set up the Eels first try. On the back of her charge, Kalisi Mahe turned a hit up into scoring play with a left-foot step that put her through a gap beside the posts.

Parramatta’s next try was provided by silky deception from Tallara Bamblett. Gliding down the left edge she held the ball up, faking to hit the outside runners. As the defence bit on the dummy play, the clever halfback sliced through the line then found Alysha Bell in support for the score.

An error from the kick-off allowed Canberra back into the game with a try from a scrum, making it 12-4 at the break.

The Eels started the second half strongly, scoring early on to extend their lead.

Bamblett opened up the Raiders’ right side with a bullet pass to Mahe who then linked up with Alsyha Bell for her second try. Sharp-shooter Bell landed the conversion to put the Eels in control.

Another Eels error opened the door for a Raiders try, but Debbie Doueihi’s rich vein of form would seal the win.

The pacy fullback swept down the Raiders left edge, feigning to link with outside supports. A step off the right foot put her into open space before she brushed past the last defender on her way to touching down behind the posts. 

Soon after, Alysha Bell nailed a shot at penalty goal to complete the Eels scoring, taking her personally tally to 18 points.

The Raiders added a consolation try on full-time, but Parramatta came away from the nation’s capital with another two competition points.

Eels 26 (Tries: Bell 2, Mahe, Doueihi. Goals: Bell 5) defeated Raiders 12.

Harold Matthews Cup: Vaivela double leads Eels to top four

The Eels claimed a huge scalp in the Harold Matthews Cup by putting the undefeated Raiders to the sword and notching their fourth consecutive win.

A powerhouse performance by prop Ocean Vaivela provided the platform for the Eels to take control of the middle against their highly rated opponents in a 24-6 triumph.

It was a rampaging run from Vaivela which opened the scoring for the day when Zaidas Muagututia turned to him behind the ruck, and the Raiders defence had no answer to his line and energy. The try was converted by Dom Farrugia to give the Eels a six-point lead in even time.

An Eels error on halfway led to a string of repeat Raiders sets, and the hosts where able to cross the line with a short pass from dummy half. But from this point, the Eels’ defence was superb, keeping Canberra at bay and scoring three unanswered tries.

Zaidas Muagututia featured again in Parramatta’s next try, creating a window for Junior Fagalele to work his magic. Chiming into the attack off Muagututia’s pass, the Eels five-eighth left defenders in his wake as he exploded down the right edge before stepping off his right foot to beat the fullback.

Ocean Vaivela then put the exclamation park on his electric performance, grabbing his second try of the day with an unstoppable charge from close range.

Incomplete sets saw the Eels have to defend their line for extended periods, but the Blue & Gold kept their nerve and turned them away.

The Eels had the final say of the game in the closing stages, as a shift to the left wing reaped rewards when Aidan Kebourian burrowed over in the corner.

Dom Farrugia converted from the sideline to maintain his perfect goal-kicking record for the day and make it an 18-point win for the Eels.

Eels 24 (Tries: Vaivela 2, Fagalele, Kebourian. Goals: Farrugia 4) defeated Raiders 6.

SG Ball Cup: Eels suffer first defeat in top-of-the-table clash

The Eels four-match winning streak came to an end as they suffered their first loss of 2023 to the ladder-leading Raiders.

In a match pitting two undefeated sides against one another, a strong second half saw the Raiders come away with a 42-18 win at home.

Parramatta sit in fourth place on the competition ladder with four regular season games remaining, despite the disappointing result.

The final scoreline was lopsided, although the Eels were extremely competitive for large periods and were locked at 18-18 early in the second half.

Canberra struck first with a simple tap-and-go try, but the Eels responded when Apa Twidle threw a sensational cut-out pass for winger Cody Parry to score his tenth try in five games.

After surviving Canberra pressure, a booming 40/20 by halfback Joshua Lynn put the Eels on the front foot. Prop Sam Tuivaiti did the rest himself with a charge that carried three defenders over the try line.

The Eels lost their six-point lead before half-time however, as two quickfire Canberra tries saw the hosts take an 18-12 advantage to the break.

The second half begun perfectly for Parramatta when centre Patrick Spence ran onto a Josh Lynn pass and sliced through the defence to make it 18-18.

But the Raiders were on their game and soon regained the ascendancy with a further two tries from close range.

Parramatta were unable to halt the home team’s momentum from then on, as Canberra crossed a further three times in the final fifteen minutes.

Raiders 42 defeated Eels 18 (Tries: Parry, Tuivaiti, Spence. Goals: Sanders 3).

Imagery provided by Stephanie Spooner, Shots On Me Photography.

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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