The NSW Blues have been named for the first game of the 2017 #Origin series.
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The first game at home in 2003 for the Parramatta Eels, and they performed in style in front of the home crowd defeating the Knights by 30-12.
A Newcastle side riddled with injuries were up against it right from the start.
With possession favouring the Eels, and a penalty count 6-0 against them after 15 minutes, the young Knights side dug deep, but it was only a matter of time before the Eels started to widen the gap in the scoreline. The first time Newcastle were near their line, Simpson scored a soft try but the Eels side had the game under control at that stage.
Half time had the Parramatta side ahead 18-6, with Luke Burt kicking 3 penalties to go along with two converted tries which were scored by Widders and Dykes.
A more even contest in the second half had the play going from end to end. With Newcastle scoring a try to come within 6 points, the game could've gome either way.
Parramatta to their credit patiently waited, and in the last 10 minutes scored 3 tries to put the game well and truely out of reach for Newcastle.
A fine performance by the Eels at Parramatta Stadium in front of a passionate home crowd. Newcastle with their young players, and mounting injury woes have their work cut out before Round 4.
League Unlimited Players of the Match:
3. Lyon (Eels) 2. Morris (Eels) 1. Woolnough (Knights)
By the clock:
5th min: PENALTY - Burt for Eels. Knights penalised for a tackle infringment, close to the Eels line. Eels 2-0
12th min: PENALTY - Burt for Eels, from out in front. Penalty count 4-0 to the Eels, slightly different to last year's fiasco between the 2 teams when Harrigan sent off 4 Eels players. Eels 4-0
14th min: PENALTY - Burt for Eels, from out in front, 45 metres back. Penalty count now 6-0 to the Eels. Will the sin bin be used by Harrigan soon? Eels 6-0
22nd min: TRY - Widders for Eels. With almost all the possession in the 1st 20 minutes, it was only a matter of time before the Eels broke through the Knights defensive line. Burt gets the conversion. Eels 12-0
25th min: TRY - Simpson for Knights. 1st penalty to the Knights and they make good use of it, a soft try with Simpson busting through the Eels line with ease. Eels 12-6
36th min: TRY - Dykes for Eels. Lyon with a good bust on the 40m line, has Dykes in support who sprints to the line. Burt gets the conversion from out in front. Eels 18-6
HALF TIME: A few tired Knights players with the amount of defence they've had to endure, it may take it's toll in the 2nd half
50th min: Bates for Knights. The first try for Bates in 1st grade, after replacing the injured Smith. Bates did well to force the ball, with the Eels players doing their best to stop him. Johns converts. Eels 18-12
65th min: A fine battle looming with both teams trying hard, but not quite getting the points. Eels still lead 18-12
69th min: NEWS - Poor attempt by Green (Eels) for a field goal after being given a sloppy pass
70th min: TRY - Richards for Eels. After a lot of effort in the half to get to their line, the Eels finally get the rewarfds. Great pass by Lyon to get Richards over out wide. Richards misses converting his own try. Eels 22-12
74th min: TRY - Moodie for Eels. A lovely kick into the corner from Green, Moodie jumps high and gets the points. Moodie fails to convert his own try. Eels 26-12
77th min: TRY - Lyon for Eels. Thoroughly deserving the 4 pointer through a good game, the centre takes 2 Newcastle defenders with him across the line. Moodie misses the conversion. Eels 30-12
FULL TIME: In the last 10 minutes, the Eels showed true courage to come away with the