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Junior Reps Round 9 Wrap-Up: Eels qualify for Finals in all grades

The Eels celebrated the success of the club’s pathways program over the weekend as each of its three Junior Representative teams qualified for the Finals of their respective competitions.

The SG Ball and Harold Matthews teams each secured a top six finish by winning in the last round of the regular season, while the Tarsha Gale Cup side landed in fifth position ahead of the Finals.

All three grades will rest over the Easter weekend before kicking off their Finals campaigns next Saturday in a triple-header at Campbelltown Stadium. The SG Ball team will face Wests Magpies, Harold Matts will take on the Sharks, and the Tarsha Gale Cup side will face the Steelers.

In addition to the weekend’s Junior Reps success, the Eels’ Lisa Fiaola Cup team wrapped up their phenomenal season with a 32-10 victory over the Bulldogs. The U17 Women went through the season undefeated, with an aggregate score of 154-20 across four matches.

SG Ball Cup: Eels secure fourth place with win over Storm

Parramatta finished the season in fine form by disposing of Melbourne in the final round of the SG Ball Cup at Eric Tweedale Stadium on Saturday.

The Eels entered the match with a top four finish in their sights, but finals football not yet secured. The Storm, meanwhile, were fresh off their first win of the year.

Strike centre Devonte Vaivela opened the scoring for the Eels when quick hands created space for him to plant the ball down in the corner. The Storm struck back midway through the first half on the back of a sequence of penalties.

The Eels’ attacking prowess came to the fore in their response, as a switch of play from the right to the left saw Richard Penisini slice through close to the corner post.

A superb sideline conversion by five-eighth Ethan Sanders extended the Eels’ lead to six, which stretched further as Parramatta continued to pressure the Storm.

Sanders did it all himself when he took on the line and bounced up off the ground to score near the uprights, giving Parramatta a 16-4 lead at the break.

The five-eighth repeated his efforts early into the second half, taking on the line once more to make it a double.

Parramatta backed up with a tremendous set from the restart and forced a Storm error to go straight onto the attack. Hooker Matt Arthur spied an opportunity beside the ruck to dive over from dummy half for a try which was converted by Josh Lynn.

Melbourne pulled a try back, before a Storm sin-binning paved the way for Parramatta to put the result beyond doubt.

After stretching the Storm defence down the right wing, the Eels sent a sequence of select and accurate passes to the left as Arthur, Sanders and Patrick Spence combined to open a channel for Vaivela to score in the corner.

A late try to the Storm completed the scoring.

The win sees Parramatta finish in fourth place on the SG Ball ladder and pits them against Wests Magpies in week one of the Finals.

Eels 32 (Tries: Vaivela 2, Sanders 2, Penisini, Arthur. Goals: Lynn 3, Sanders 1) defeated Storm 14.

Harold Matthews Cup: Blue & Gold beat Roosters to finish third

The Eels wrapped up a third-place finish in the Harold Matthews Cup with a solid win over Central Coast Roosters at Tweedale Stadium.

The Roosters shocked Parramatta with the opening try, before fullback Corey Leigh sent winger Aidan Kebourian over in the corner for the Eels’ first.

From there, Parramatta’s line was tested by a number of Roosters attaking raids but their defensive resolve was rewarded with the next try.

Lorenzo Talataina positioned himself wide in the Roosters’ red zone and when the pass came his way he utilised his pace and right-foot step to bamboozle the defenders and score next to the posts.

Zaidas Muagututia added another Parramatta try when he twisted out of tackles close to the line, and the Eels hit the sheds with an eight-point lead.

A seven-tackle set early in the second half provided Parramatta with the impetus for the next score. After play advanced into the Roosters’ quarter, Corey Leigh found Lachlan Vella on his left, and the Eels centre added the finishing touch as he cut back to the right for the try.

The Roosters narrowed the gap midway through the half when their winger won a race to the ball in the in-goal, before Parramatta wrapped up the win with a much-deserved try to hardworking lock Tyson Sangalang.

Another late Roosters try added respectability to the scoreboard and was a fair reward for their spirited performance.

Parramatta’s victory means they will meet the six-placed Sharks in the first week of the Finals.

Eels 24 (Tries: Kebourian, Talataina, Muagututia, Vella, Sangalang. Goals: Farrugia 2) defeated Roosters 14.

Tarsha Gale Cup: Eels reach Finals despite loss to Minor Premiers

The Eels entered their final match of the Tarsha Gale Cup season with a Finals finish already secured, and were dealt several venue and matchday changes in the lead-up.

The disruptions did not favour Parramatta, and the game ended up being played at a damp Kellyville Park on Sunday. The undefeated Bulldogs proceeded to win comfortably, which saw them claim the Minor Premiership.

Both teams went toe-to-toe in the opening 20 minutes, with the Eels holding out their highly-rated rivals with spirited goal-line defence.

However, a last-tackle penalty opened the door for a flow of Bulldogs points, and the visitors raced away with the win.

With a points differential of +232, the Bulldogs gave the Eels’ a defensive workout which will serve the Blue & Gold well during the upcoming Finals.

Parramatta will face the fourth-placed Steelers in their first Finals fixture. The two sides played out an exciting draw decided by a clutch Alysha Bell sideline conversion earlier in the season, setting the stage for an exciting clash.  

Bulldogs 36 defeated Eels 0.

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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