An inspired move by Parramatta Eels coach Brad Arthur to put Chris Sandow at fullback has helped the Eels to a comfortable 22-12 win over an origin depleted Canterbury Bulldogs side in front of just over 24,000 fans at ANZ Stadium.
The biggest surprise of the day was from the opening set when Parramatta Eels halfback Chris Sandow began the game in both attack and defence; meanwhile the Bulldogs pulled their own positional changes with Michael Ennis playing most of the game at halfback.
The first quarter of the match was an even contest with most of the play taking place through the middle section of the field, both sides had their own chances to score but poor play in attack and some good defence stopped the play.
The opening points came through the NRL's own Semi-Trailer, Semi Radradra. The opening try came through a 95m intercept when attacking from the Scrum the Bulldogs threw an intercept and the Eels opened the scoring.
From there it only took the Eels five minutes to extend their lead out to 10-0 when Chris Sandow sliced through some flimsy defence to set up Vai Toutai in the corner, Sandow missed the conversion from out wide and the score remained at 10-0.
The second half started well for the Bulldogs with Corey Thompson showing some good skill to keep himself inside the field of play and after video referee review get the green lights to bring the score back to 10-6.
That was as close as the Bulldogs got all afternoon with the Eels able to score successive tries including Vai Toutai's second in the 57th minute, then Ryan Morgan crossed for his own pair of tries in the 67th and 74th minutes, all three tries went unconverted and the score remained at 22-6.
Approaching the final siren, Corey Thompson scored after the Eels weren't able to clean up the ball at the back and with the conversion the score came back to 22-12.
Next weekend, the Bulldogs welcome back their Origin stars for a road trip down to the nation's capital when they take on the Canberra Raiders, meanwhile the Eels don't have an easy task when they travel down to Melbourne to take on the Storm at AAMI Park next Sunday.