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Fast-finishing Eels fall short to Roosters

The Eels suffered a 28-20 loss to the Sydney Roosters on Thursday night.

Despite some gallant goal-line defence and a strong finish with two late tries, Parramatta paid the price for a slow start.

The Eels found themselves under immense pressure in the first half, playing with 12 men for 20 minutes and enjoying just 43% of possession.

Clint Gutherson repelled the Roosters early with a terrific try-saver on Victor Radley, after Will Penisini was sin-binned for a professional foul.

Gutherson stops a certain try!

Mitchell Moses kicked the Eels ahead with a penalty goal while down a player, but the Roosters scored the opening try through Drew Hutchison.

The Eels displayed some great defence on their goal-line, highlighted by Mitchell Moses’ exceptional cover tackle to deny Daniel Tupou.

A textbook cover tackle by Moses

Parramatta were put under more pressure when Bailey Simonsson was sin binned midway through the first half. The Eels came within moments of escaping the 10 minutes unscathed, before Tupou scored for the Tricolours.

The hosts landed a sucker punch on the stroke of halftime as Luke Keary crossed the stripe, extending the margin to 14 points.

Parramatta returned to the second half with great energy, and within three minutes had their first try.

As a shift to the right edge looked to fizzle out, Will Penisini shocked the Roosters defence with an offload on the inside where Clint Gutherson popped up to collect the ball and score.

Gutherson goes over for the Eels

Moses’ conversion made it 16-8, putting the Eels right back into the contest.

But once again Parramatta were forced to defend their goal-line for an extended period, and the persistent Roosters found a way through with Jaxson Paulo scoring out wide.

The conversion was missed, but a penalty goal and a second try to Keary put the result beyond Parramatta's reach.

The Eels were not prepared to die wondering, however.

Bailey Simonsson's superb finish at the end of a tidy backline play breathed some life into Parramatta, inspiring a strong finish.

Simonsson scores superbly

Late on, Maika Sivo latched onto a brilliant Dylan Brown cut-out pass to score in the corner, and Moses' conversion from out wide narrowed the margin to eight points.

Brilliant Brown pass sends Sivo in

However it was too little, too late, as the Roosters came away with the win.

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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