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Eels ousted by Sea Eagles in thriller

The Eels fell short of a miraculous victory as they were downed by Manly in a 34-30 thriller.

The see-sawing, twelve-try affair was decided in a frantic final five minutes with a rapidfire exchange of tries, as Manly just edged the Eels.

Clint Gutherson was enormous for a losing Eels side, scoring two tries and saving another in a highlight for Parramatta.

The Sea Eagles got off to a soaring start, racing out to a 14-0 lead during the first half.

Reuben Garrick opened the scoring, applying the finishing touch to a perfectly executed backline play. A penalty goal nudged the lead to 8-0, before Tom Trbojevic exploited some backpedalling defence to crash over for Manly’s second try.

The Eels had looked scrappy in the early stages, before Clint Gutherson inspired a Blue & Gold fightback out of nowhere.

Attacking the left edge, Dylan Brown passed out the back to Gutherson, who bamboozled three defenders with a dummy and change of direction to slide over. Mitchell Moses nailed the conversion from out wide to close the gap to eight points.

Captain Clint opens the Eels' account

Moments later, the Eels were right back in the contest. With the next attacking set, Moses faked a pass out the back before delivering a beautiful short ball for Matt Doorey to score, making it 14-10 at half-time.

Doorey through the front door!

The Eels carried their momentum into the second half, and snatched the lead early in the piece.

Clint Gutherson stood tall once again, slipping away from one defender and standing up another en route to the try line. With Moses’ conversion, the Eels went ahead 16-14 after 43 minutes.

Gutherson leads by example

But the Sea Eagles were not ready to roll over, and regained the lead with quickfire tries to Tom Trbojevic and Brad Parker. Two missed conversions meant Manly led by only six points with 25 minutes remaining.

Manly looked set to pull clear of Parramatta when Christian Tuipulotu set his sights on the try line, before Gutherson produced another enormous play to force an error at the last.

The Eels were then denied themselves, as the referee called a forward pass from dummy half when Reagan Campbell-Gillard appeared to have scored.

An astonishing ending to the game was in store, as five tries were scored in the final 12 minutes in heart-stopping circumstances.

Haumole Olakatu’atu landed a cruel blow to Parramatta’s hopes when he plucked out a kick for a try.

The Eels were not done yet though, and clawed their way back into the contest when a Dylan Brown wonder-pass paved the way for Maika Sivo to score in the corner, closing the gap to eight points.

Then, a miraculous piece of play set up a grandstand finish.

A frantic string of offloads created space on the right for Parramatta, which Josh Hodgson exploited to race away for his first Eels try and make it a two-point ballgame with five minutes remaining.

But Olakatu’atu put the match just beyond Parramatta’s reach moments later, taking an intercept deep into the Eels’ half and running away with the match.

Yet another twist to the tale came with two minutes remaining when Maika Sivo scored his second try of the night to keep the Eels in the contest, but a thrilling win was just beyond Parramatta’s reach as Manly held on for victory.

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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