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Eels down Dogs in stellar season-opener

The Eels kicked off their 2024 season in emphatic fashion, beating the Bulldogs 26-8 at a sold-out CommBank Stadium on Saturday.

Playing in front of the largest regular-season crowd in CommBank Stadium’s history, the Eels treated the Blue & Gold Army to a dominant win to kick off the new year.

NRL Match Highlights: Eels v Bulldogs

Bryce Cartwright scored two tries in a standout display, while Morgan Harper scored a try and assisted another on his Eels debut. Bailey Simonsson scored a late, runaway try to cap off an incredible season-opener for the Eels.

Dylan Brown celebrated his 100th NRL game with a win on top of his strong performance, while Harper and Kelma Tuilagi enjoyed impressive Club debuts.

Be there when the Eels return to CommBank Stadium to face the Sea Eagles in Round 3. Only in PARRAdise.

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Parramatta had the Bulldogs under pressure from the outset, but the visitors’ defence held firm for an extended period.

The Eels found their breakthrough in the 12th minute, as two milestone men combined for Parramatta’s first try of the year.

Attacking the line, Dylan Brown poked a grubber to the in-goal and Morgan Harper put his foot to the floor. The Eels debutant reeled the ball in over the dead-ball line and somersaulted his way to a try, kicking off scenic celebrations.

Harper scores on Eels debut!

Mitchell Moses scored the conversion before Clint Gutherson added a penalty goal after assuming goal-kicking duties.

Sean Russell brought the home crowd to its feet late in the first half when he barrelled opposite winger Josh Addo-Carr into touch with a crunching tackle.

The Bulldogs defended their line bravely for the better part of 25 minutes after Harper scored, but the Eels would not be denied a second try before the break.

Joey Lussick went short to Bryce Cartwright at the Bulldogs’ line, and the second-rower steamed through to hand the Eels a 14-0 lead at half-time.

Cartwright strikes!

Lussick picked up where he left off after the interval, putting the Eels on the attack with a pinpoint 40/20 kick.

Lussick nails a 40/20

The Eels were denied a spectacular Sean Russell try by the Bunker after a frantic passage of play, but the ensuing attack proved unstoppable.

Shortly after Clint Gutherson heroically snapped up a short drop-out, Ryan Matterson threw a wonderous offload to Bryce Cartwright, who muscled his way to a second try of the afternoon.

Bryce makes it a brace

Gutherson’s third conversion pushed Parramatta into a 20-0 lead.

The Bulldogs threatened to mount a late comeback when Blake Wilson and Stephen Crichton pulled back tries to narrow the margin to 14 points, but the Eels quickly extinguished any chance of late drama.

The Eels turned defence into attack when Morgan Harper swooped on a loose ball and broke into space, before turning the ball inside to Bailey Simonsson who streaked away to seal the deal.

Eels seal the deal

Parramatta will look to make it two from two in 2024 on Friday when they travel to Penrith for a Battle of the West blockbuster.

Be there when the Eels return to CommBank Stadium to face the Sea Eagles in Round 3. Only in PARRAdise.

PARRAdise is what you make it. Become an Eels member today!

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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