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Eels maul Manly to enter top eight

The Eels climbed into the NRL top eight with a 34-4 thrashing of Manly at CommBank Stadium on Saturday.

In the absence of several key players, captain Clint Gutherson stood tall to lead the Eels to a big victory. The fullback scored a try, assisted two, kicked five goals, and made over 150 running metres in a man of the match performance.

The victory propels Parramatta from tenth place into fourth with eight wins from 15 matches.

Bailey Simonsson was another standout performer, scoring two tries and running for almost 200 metres in front 21,296 fans at CommBank Stadium.

The early stages were intense, before Kaeo Weekes’ professional foul saw him sent to the sin bin and opened the game up.

Parramatta were quick to capitalise, as Ofahiki Ogden bulldozed through the Manly defence for an outstanding opening try.

Ogden bulldozes through Manly

The Eels then doubled their lead when Bailey Simonsson slipped away from the Sea Eagles’ right edge at the end of a backline play.

Simonsson slices through the Sea Eagles

Clint Gutherson, who assumed goal-kicking duties in the absence of Mitchell Moses, nailed the sideline conversion to make it 12-0 after 16 minutes.

Manly hit back when an exchange of hands sent Christian Tuipulotu over in the corner.

Their lead would have been greater, if not for a spectacular effort by Gutherson to strip the ball away from Taniela Paseka as the prop charged towards the try line.

Gutho saves the day!

J’maine Hopgood put an exclamation point on Parramatta’s dominant first-half performance with a barnstorming try.

The Eels lock fended away from Josh Aloiai and charged over fullback Weekes to score next to the uprights and make it a 24-4 lead at the break.

Hopgood the great!

Parramatta continued to dominate in the second half, but had to wait until after the hour mark for their next try after the Bunker denied them on several occasions.

Bailey Simonsson sent CommBank Stadium into raptures with his second try of the night, when he put the foot down to blitz Manly’s defence and slide over out wide.

Super Simonsson slides over

The Eels saved their best for last, capping off their sensational win with an audacious try crafted by winger Maika Sivo and prop Makahesi Makatoa.

Sivo had little to work with when he received the ball on the 10-metre line, before chipping the ball over Manly’s defence and into the arms of Makatoa for a freaky four-pointer.

Sensational from Sivo & Makatoa!

With a second-half shutout, the Eels emerged 30-point winners to climb high into the NRL top eight ahead of next week’s historic meeting with the Dolphins.

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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