Our weekly feature - The Armchair Expert - returns just in time for the finals!
This week we look a...
5 hours ago
The Eels currently sit in 4th spot on the competition table after a hard fought victory over the Dragons at Parramatta Stadium, winning by 20-12.
Nathan Hindmarsh celebrated his 200th match for the Eels, following up Origin duty, with a fine effort against the Dragons this afternoon.
The game did not open up at all until the second half, the Eels leading by a mere 2 -0 at the break. The majority of the first half was dominated by the Dragons however attacking options at times let them down. Luke Burt scored the only points in the first half, a penalty in the 31st minute.
It was the Dragons who scored the first try of the match, and as it turned out, the last. Hewitt managing to get his side into the lead following a tremendous offload by Scott who was smothered by 4 Eels tacklers.
The determination of the home side started to show through as the momentum swung away from the Dragons with some patient play by the Eels. Three unanswered tries, along with some great goal kicking by Burt, saw the Eels out to a healthy 20-6 lead with 7 minutes left on the clock.
The lead was then pegged back following a late try to Soward for the Dragons, finished off with a pearler of a conversion.
The final scoreline more indicative of how the match was.
Unfortunately for the Dragons the loss has them sitting firmly on the bottom of the ladder. A tough ask for them next week against the Storm in Melbourne.
The Eels will go into their Round 15 match against the Roosters with more confidence following their victory this afternoon.
LeagueUnlimited.com Player of the Match 3 Points: Nathan Hindmarsh 2 Points: Eric Grothe 1 Point: Jason Ryles
League Unlimited Live Commentary: No rain at this stage at Parramatta. Nathan Hindmarsh plays 200th 1st grade game for the Eels this afternoon.
1 min: The Eels have the kick off as the game gets underway.
2 min: Early mistake in the first set by the Eels hands possession over to the Dragons 20 metres from their line.
4 min: Two sets for the Eels and 2 mistakes giving away field position.
9 min: The two teams now settling into the game. 1st penalty of the match, and Burt fails to find touch once more handing easy position to the home side.
10 min: First line dropout of the match favouring the Dragons.
11 min: All possession for the Dragons however Soward butchers a try on the fifth tackle, kicking the ball too hard to the in goal.
15 min: A bit of niggle creeping in. The Eels making good ground with some possession finally. No try to the Eels as they come close to scoring.
20 min: The weight of ball firmly with the Dragons. Fifth tackle options not helping their cause. Score stays nil all halfway through the first half of the match.
24 min: Eels looked to have scored following a break by Burt. He's then involved little kick that hits the posts and is snapped up by Cordoba who looks to have scored. Hampstead has no hesitation in calling Cordoba offside.
28 min: The Eels once again close to scoring however Nathan Hindmarsh loses the ball forward close to the line.
31 min: PENALTY GOAL Parramatta Eels The Dragons defending their line, are pinged for offside. First points of the match to Luke Burt. Parramatta Eels 2-0
35 min: The Eels miss out on another try scoring chance with Nathan Hindmarsh busting through the defence but his offload goes astray close to the line.
38 min: Once more another scuffle in the match. Hampstead threatens the bin for the next offender.
HALF TIME: Both sides guilty of one dimensional play as the Eels hold onto their 2-0 lead.
41 min: Second half underway
43 min: Dragons get a penalty close to their line. Ellis takes the tap quickly but is disallowed the try through a double movement.
49 min: TRY St George Illawarra Dragons The Eels looked to have shut down Scott with four in the tackle however a miracle ball pops back for Hewitt who takes on two defenders and scores. Hampstead right on the spot calls the try. Conversion attempt by Jamie Soward successful. St George Illawarra Dragons 6-2
55 min: The Dragons have stepped up a gear since scoring.St George Illawarra Dragons 6-2
57 min: TRY Parramatta Eels The Eels with quick plays get to their line quickly. A penalty ensues. A fast ball from Burt to Hayne on the wing and the try is scored out wide. Conversion attempt by Luke Burt successful. Parramatta Eels 8-6
62 min: Seems to be high shots sneaking in. Hampstead letting them go at this stage.
67 min: The crowd getting right behind the Eels who have also changed their game speed and stepped up. Woolford stops a certain try to Tim Smith by banging the ball out right on the line.
70 min: TRY Parramatta Eels A bustling run by Hindmarsh in his 200th match has play right up by the Eels line. Soward looks to have taken out a player on the next play however Grothe picks up the ball to score. Conversion attempt by Luke Burt successful. Parramatta Eels 14-6
73 min: TRY Parramatta Eels The Eels on attack again. A perfect bomb by Finch 20 metres out is snapped out of the air by Inu to score. Conversion attempt by Luke Burt successful. Parramatta Eels 20-6
78 min: The Dragons aren't giving up however the Eels players are up to the task
80 min: TRY St George Illawarra Dragons Hewitt started the movement from the other side of the field, links up with Soward on the other wing, who sprints away down the field to score. Conversion attempt by Jamie Soward successful. Parramatta Eels 20-12
FULL TIME: The Dragons try on the bell gives a bit more indication of the match which was a tough one for both sides.