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A late penalty goal to Luke Covell has seen the Cronulla Sharks beat the Parramatta Eels 16-14 in a thrilling game today at Toyota Park.
Right from the opening whistle the Cronulla defence was in the faces of the Parramatta attack and on many occassions it forced them into some poor decisions especially with their last tackle options. With a gale wind at the back of the Eels in the first half they failed to really capitalise on the advantage letting the home side come off their line with some soft penalties.
It was Parramatta though who opened the scoring in the 10th minute with a try out wide to Taulima Tautai. After a penalty goal to Luke Burt in the 12th minute Parramatta had a lead of 8-0.
A string of penalties to the Cronulla side lead to Issac De Gois finding the line to bring the scoreline back to 8-6 in favour of the Eels.
Disaster struck Greg Bird in the 29th minute falling awkardly on his left knee as he went for the tryline. He was helped from the field and whisked away on the medicab. With Bird almost a guaranteed selection for Origin III, selectors have to wait and find out the severity of his injury.
The second half scoring opened with a penalty goal a-piece to Luke Covell and Luke Burt. Video Ref Bill Harrigan awarded Luke Douglas a try in the 57th minute after Brett Seymour stripped the ball from Tony Williams. With the easy conversion the Sharks had a 14-10 lead.
Tony Williams then made up for his dropped ball by finishing a Parramatta raid on the left side. Luke Burt's conversion attempt dropped short and it looked as though golden point could be a possibility.
The game came to an end when Fuifui Moimoi came into contact with Brett Kimmorley after trying to charge a kick down and was penalised.
With the kick in front of the sticks it was a mere formality for Luke Covell.
Paul Gallen cemented his spot in the NSW side with a workhorse effort making 23 hitups and 32 tackles. Brett Kimmorley was also dominant for the home side.
For the Eels Feleti Mateo put in another impressive performance.
LeagueUnlimited.com Live Commentary
Good afternoon and a warm welcome to League Unlimited's live updates of the clash between the Cronulla Sharks and the Parramatta Eels from Toyota Park.
The home side are looking to enter the top four with a win today, the Sharkies have won alot of close games this year and I have a feeling we are in for a close contest today. Parramatta come into this game with plenty of confidence after impressive wins over Canberra and Wests with Feliti Mateo starring in both. Both teams have prominent offloaders so hopefully we get to see some free flowing open footy today.
History between the sides sees Cronulla narrowly ahead with 35 wins to Parra's 33.
Sun is picture perfect at the ground and the surface is dry.
We have a few changes to the sides, for the Sharks Terence Seuseu drops off their extended bench and for Parramatta Josh Cordoba will start with Fuifui Moimoi going back to the bench. Junior Paulo falls off the 5 man bench.
SHARKS: 1. Mitch Brown 2. Misi Taulapapa 3. Ben Pomeroy 4. David Simmons 5. Luke Covell 6. Brett Seymour 7. Brett Kimmorley 8. Ben Ross 9. Isaac De Gois 10. Luke Douglas 11. Paul Gallen 12. Fraser Anderson 13. Greg Bird Interchange: 14. Danny Nutley 15. Kade Snowden 16. Bryan Norrie 19. Blake Green EELS: 1. Luke Burt 2. Taulima Tautai 3. Krisnan Inu 4. Joel Reddy 5. Tony Williams 6. Feleti Mateo 7. Brett Finch 8. Nathan Cayless (c) 9. Mark Riddell 15. Josh Cordoba 11. Nathan Hindmarsh 12. Daniel Wagon 13. Chad Robinson Interchange: 10. Fuifui Moimoi 14. Matthew Keating 16. Weller Hauraki 17. Brendan Oake
Stay tuned kickoff is only minutes away.....
We have a minutes silence for Jane McGrath. We are underway with the Eels kicking off...
4 min: Kimmorley hoists a bomb and its well diffused by Finch. Parra will have to work it off their line.
8 min: Sharks are muscling up early and getting the better of field position, its good stuff!
10 min: TRY Parramatta Eels Feliti Mateo busts them up the middle and goes close. They go wide right to Finch he goes though the hands and Taulima Tautai scores in the corner. Good try, Mateo is in great form. Conversion attempt by Luke Burt successful. Parramatta Eels 6-0
12 min: PENALTY GOAL Parramatta Eels Penalty for holding down and its a gift two points for Luke Burt. Parramatta Eels 8-0
18 min: PENALTY High shot on Cayless and Parra get a piggy back out of their red zone. Plenty of feeling in this one.
19 min: Covell plucks a Brett Finch out of the air and Cronulla will work it off the line.
22 min: Parramatta give away another soft PENALTY and here come the Sharks in the opposition half.
24 min: TRY Cronulla Sharks Off the back of a second man play Cronulla have them on the rack with Gallen stopped short of the line. Issac De Gois spots the space and scoots from dummy half and scores. Cronulla back in it! Conversion attempt by Luke Covell successful. Parramatta Eels 8-6
28 min: It's a nightmare for fullbacks with very windy conditions.
28 min: Seymour puts a bomb across to Covell and he does magnificently to control the ball with his feet. He toes it ahead and Bird picks it up and falls short of the line and loses it. Turnover to Parra.
29 min: INJURY - Its bad news for Greg Bird he has been injured in the play. Ohhhh he screams in pain as he falls. Looks like a hyper extension of the knee. Braith Anasta could be packing his bags for Origin.
31 min: Bird has gone up the tunnell on the medicab.
A entertaining half of footy put on the by the two sides. The Sharks have been hungry in defence really getting in the faces of the Eels. Greg Bird has gone off injured with his left knee. Parramatta with a healthy breeze at their backs really let the Sharks off the hook with soft penalties deep in the Sharks half and some poor 5th tackle play's. Stats have been very even except for Cronulla having 56% possession to Parra's 44%. Stay tuned the second half is coming up.... Back underway...
47 min: Ohh Parra put it down and Cronulla bring it off their line.
48 min: PENALTY to the Sharks after a high shot on David Simmons.
49 min: Plenty of ball movement by the Sharks ends poorly with a kick from Luke Douglas. Parra off the hook.
52 min: PENALTY GOAL Parramatta Eels The kick is down the middle. Parramatta Eels 10-8
55 min: Reddy passes the ball into touch over Tautai's head, Sharkies ball.
57 min: We are going upstairs possible try to the Sharks.
57 min: TRY Cronulla Sharks Tony Williams cleans up a kick from Kimmorley ingoal and is pursued by Seymour. Seymour has stripped the ball and Luke Douglas pounces on the scraps for a try! Conversion attempt by Luke Covell successful. Cronulla Sharks 14-10
59 min: Gallen loses the ball in a tackle, Parra SCRUM.
61 min: Repeat set for the Eels as Mitch Brown is unable to diffuse a bomb. Hot on attack.
61 min: Finch is unable to get to the Wagon offload and turns it over, Sharks ball.
67 min: Kimmorley has put up a ripper of a bomb towards Tony Williams and OOOO its gone through his hands. Parra drop out and more pressure!
75 min: Mitch Brown is put a bomb down and Parra are hot on attack. ITS GOIN DOWN TO THE WIRE!!!
76 min: TRY Parramatta Eels Tony Williams has scored in the corner after some good leadup work from Finch and Inu!! Golden point maybe? Conversion attempt by Luke Burt unsuccessful. 14 all
79 min: Finch has had a drop goal attempt from halfway and it misses!
Cronulla Sharks 16-14