2018 PREVIEW 🔍 Our 16th and final #NRL look at each club is in. Andrew Ferguson (hopefully with mini...
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Sean Teuma wraps the penultimate weekend of the NSWRL SG Ball Cup finals series.
All listed times are AEST (NSW/QLD/VIC/ACT).
Parramatta mad their move with a 16-0 burst in the middle stages of the first half, a patch that had the Roosters on the back foot.
They weathered the storm that the Roosters threw at them to finish the half, keeping them scoreless in the second 35 minutes to run out comfortable winners in the end.
Both sides started the game conservatively as they looked to punish their opponent for any mistakes made. Neither team would crack in opening stages of the game, as they looked to set a strong defensive platform.
It was Parramatta that commenced the scoring in tenth minute, when Ukilifi Lea'aetoa touched down in the corner. That try seemed to spark the Eels into action, as they scored on the second tackle from the kick-off, thanks to a Dylan Brown break, who linked up with Matthew Doorey in open space, finally finding Joseph Taipari to put the exclamation point on a great team try.
Brown was in the thick of things not long after, as he pounced on a grubber kick to extend the lead out to 16-0 in the space of seven minutes.
The ill-discipline of Parramatta meant they were camped on their goal-line for four consecutive sets, however their defence held strong. Their defence was eventually breached with six minutes left in the half, as Egan Butcher made a break against the run of play, before scoring off the next play.
The lead was reduced again, as Jake Kambos took advantage of a well-timed dab into the in-goal, scoring close to the uprights to send the Roosters into half-time down 16-12.
The second half started in a similar fashion to the first, with both teams guilty feeling each other out as they sought vital next points, which eventually came to Parramatta through Noel Aukafolau, who gave the Eels breathing space at 20-12.
Their next try came just four minutes later as Lufusi Vea Tapaatoutai caught the defence napping at dummy half, sneaking his way through to score.
The game was put well and truly beyond doubt when Aukafolau picked up his second try of the game, powering through three defenders to plant the ball over the line in a tremendous showing of determination.
Parramatta have a chance to win their twelfth SG Ball Cup, although they will face stiff opposition from the Cronulla Sharks, who were victorious over Illawarra at Southern Cross Group Stadium today.
Illawarra Steelers (14)
Tries: Jye Richards, Blair Grant, Sam McCann
Goals: Zaan Weatherall 1