Broncos battle to better passionate Parra

A spirited comeback from the Parramatta Eels wasn't enough tonight in Sydney's west, the visiting Brisbane Broncos holding out their southern rivals with a 16-12 victory at Parramatta Stadium in front of 11,079 fans.

In a game that often failed to inspire, the Broncos found points first just shy of the half-hour mark, Dane Gagai capitalising on an Eels error to plant the ball down just inside the corner post. Wallace's radar was on song both before and after the break, converting both of Brisbane's first two tries - incidentally the second also scored by Gagai. Dane's second four-pointer was the result of some sloppy passing from Parramatta - the young Broncos' winger taking an intercept and sprinting 95 metres to extend Brisbane's lead.

While Brisbane held the 12-0 lead for much of the game, two quick tries from Parramatta fullback Luke Burt between the 55th and 70th minute levelled scores and inspired the Eels to a strong finish, but strangely Brisbane didn't looked flustered by the hosts drawing level.

The reason why came to light with five minutes on the clock, Matt Gillett stepping outside some weak Eels defence and sprinting 30 metres to score what was the matchwinner.

The loss caps yet another close-run but ultimately bad night for the Parramatta side, now having not won a match since May 23 when they put a score on the Cronulla Sharks. They host the Wests Tigers next Friday night in an absolute must win clash if they want to feature in September football. Brisbane on the other hand stay in fifth position with the Cowboys on equal points having a superior points differential. The Broncos enjoy the bye in Round 18.

Match Details
Parramatta Eels 12 were defeated by Brisbane Broncos 16
National Rugby League - Round 17 - Friday July 1, 2011 7:30pm
Venue: Parramatta Stadium
Referee: Jared Maxwell and Phil Haines
Video Referee: Paul Simpkins
Touch Judges: Russell Turner and Gavin Reynolds
Crowd: 11,079
Halftime: Parramatta Eels 0 Brisbane Broncos 6 players of the match:
3 Points - Dane Gagai (2 Tries)
2 Points - Luke Burt (2 Tries, 2 Conversions)
1 Point - Matt Gillett (1 Try)

Tries: Luke Burt (2)
Field Goals: Luke Burt (0/1)
Conversions: Luke Burt (2/2)

Tries: Matt Gillett, Dane Gagai (2)
Conversions: Peter Wallace (2/3) Live Commentary Join the discussion on Friday Night Footy - Eels v Broncos on our forum - click here... or on Twitter! Make sure you follow us on @LeagueUnlimited and be sure to add the hashtag #nrlparbri to your tweets about tonight's game!
Welcome to Parramatta Stadium for Friday Night Footy! Parramatta hosting Brisbane tonight with both sides well affected by the State of Origin III clash next Wednesday. Parramatta missing Blues stars Jarryd Hayne and Tim Mannah, while Brisbane lose a host of Maroons players including Hodges, Yow Yeh, Lockyer, Hannant, Parker and Thaiday.
In team news for tonight's clash, from the Eels there's a host of changes, with Reni Maitua and Pat O'Hanlon namely making their debuts. Click the "Team Lists" tab to get the full Eels lineup and all the changes. Brisbane lose young hooker Kurt Baptiste, with previously club-suspended Andrew McCullough recalled to hooker. Josh McGuire is the new bench player.
Here we go ladies and gentlemen, teams on the park, Eels to kickoff, Broncos to receive. Maxwell blows time on!
3 min: After back-and-forward sets, the Eels are the first to venture into opposition territory, their fifth tackle option is to put it high on this occasion. Josh Hoffman bobbles under the bomb but handles it well.
6 min: Brisbane put in the hard yards in and also put it high on the last, but Burt is safe under the ball in the in-goal. He sprints back to the 20m line for the restart and on tackle one a penalty is forthcoming.
7 min: Ouch. Justin Horo has lost it with Parramatta in a great attacking position. Brisbane scrum on their own 20m line.
9 min: Bang! Etu Uaisele puts an absolute screamer of a hit on Broncos centre Jack Reed. He's lost the ball and it's an Eels scrum just inside their own half.
10 min: The Eels again opt for the hoisted bomb on the last, Hoffman is safe underneath it. Both teams controlling possession well so far.
12 min: A fantastic set of six from the Broncos in defence sets up some great field position in attack. The Broncos go cross-field on the last but Reni Maitua is there to clean it up.
13 min: Bad luck for Luke Burt there, he sprays a downtown kick straight over the sideline on the full. Brisbane with more field position.
14 min: Just when they're looking dangerous, Reed tries popping the ball out for Dale Copley but it goes forward and into touch.
16 min: Almost a try for the Eels but a loose arm striking the ball from Ben Smith means the Eels won't be opening the scoring. Broncos scrum on their own 30m line.
18 min: Brisbane again dominating field position and find themselves challenging Parramatta's line, but again the crossfield kick comes up with no result. Eels scrum 10m from their own line.
22 min: The Eels get a relieving penalty coming out of their own end. Maitua now with a line break before finding Shane Shackleton who is dragged down. They keep charging toward the line, Justin Horo with the grubber through out wide, Josh Hoffman forced to bat it dead. Line drop out Broncos.
27 min: TRY
TRY Brisbane Broncos
Scored by Dane Gagai. Conversion attempt by Peter Wallace successful.
The Broncos find themselves with cheap possession on the Eels line and Dane Gagai manages to plant the ball down just inside the corner post. Wallace converts perfectly from the touchline.
Brisbane Broncos 6-0
31 min: Jack Reed spills the pill just inside the opposition half. Eels scrum 40m out from their own line.
33 min: VIDEO REFEREE for a possible try to Eels' five-eighth Reni Maitua... but he's knocked it on. Ruling is NO TRY. Broncos scrum, 10m out.
36 min: Parramatta with another positive attacking set on the Broncos' line but it's a poor end, Maitua running to the line and submitting in the tackle. The Eels are exciting in attack when they get near the line but are lacking the finish touches to truly worry Brisbane.
39 min: A little bit of unrest on the edge of halftime as the forward packs set a scrum.
HALFTIME with Brisbane 6 leading Parramatta 0 courtesy of a Dane Gagai try after 27 minutes. Either side is in a good position to win it, both sides need to sharpen their attack and minimise errors to really cut through. Join us for the second half in ten minutes!
41 min: We return to the action here at Parramatta for the second half - Brisbane boot us underway, Parramatta with the first use.
42 min: Bad start for the Broncos here, Wallace with a forward pass out of dummy half deep inside the Broncos' own area. Eels scrum and they'll attack.
43 min: Second tackle and Jacob Loko (Eels) is down and it looks like he's injured something, possibly a leg injury. Time is off.
INJURY - Jacob Loko is being medicabbed off the park here at Parramatta, with what is said to be a dislocated patella. The Eels will continue with possession 20m out.
45 min: The Eels force a drop out here, and then get a penalty. They HAVE to score, surely!
48 min: TRY
TRY Brisbane Broncos
Scored by Dane Gagai. Conversion attempt by Peter Wallace successful.
The Eels look likely and then Horo spills it close to the line... GAGAI! He picks it up 5m from his own line and sprints 95 metres to score! Brisbane strike a crucial blow and Wallace converts to extend the lead to twelve.
Brisbane Broncos 12-0
52 min: Brisbane with their first territorial possession of the second half, a try here would likely put the Eels to bed for tonight.
54 min: Injury Update from the Eels that Loko has damaged the cruciate ligament inside his knee. Potential long-term injury.
On the field, Uaisele is held in goal, drop-out and Brisbane to attack again.
56 min: Unbelievably bizarre stuff from Chris Walker, he's caught it on the full in-goal but tried to run downfield with it. It's a 20m restart despite Walker's protests.
56 min: The Eels make a huge break with McGuire running it up towards the Broncos line! They're heavy on the attack here...
58 min: TRY
TRY Parramatta Eels
Scored by Luke Burt. Conversion attempt by Luke Burt successful.
The earlier break has the Broncos defence scrambled somewhat, some patient play seeing Luke Burt run off a questionable Matt Keating pass to score under the sticks.
Brisbane Broncos 12-6
60 min: We enter the last quarter of what has largely been a dour contest. Parramatta have showed with some controlled, disciplined play they can trouble the Broncos. They need to apply that if they want a result tonight.
62 min: As I speak of discipline, a simple dummy half handling error from Etu Uaisele just as the Eels looked dangerous again.
66 min: TRY
TRY Parramatta Eels
Scored by Luke Burt. Conversion attempt by Luke Burt successful.
The Eels are having plenty of luck up the middle, Maitua finds Chris Walker bursting through, Luke Burt is there in support and grabs himself a double - under the posts! He adds the extras and scores are level!
12 all
Earlier tonight the Eels smashed Brisbane 46-16 in the Toyota Cup Under 20's fixture, with Marmin Barba (Bulldog fullback Ben's younger brother) the star.
69 min: Penalty Brisbane, a high shot from... well, noone. Referee's made an error there. Let's hope it doesn't cost the Eels points.
Field goal attempt by Luke Burt unsuccessful.
Luke Burt pushes the first of tonight's field goal attempts wide in an attempt to break the deadlock. Hoffman takes it on the field in-goal, it's a 20m restart for Brisbane.
12 all
73 min: Good metres this set from Brisbane, and with an unsuccessful rake from Parramatta on halfway, Brisbane have another set starting just inside Eels territory...
75 min: TRY
TRY Brisbane Broncos
Scored by Matt Gillett. Conversion attempt by Peter Wallace unsuccessful.
Brisbane justify their decision not to stab for a one-pointer with Matt Gillett slamming off a defender and sprinting to score in the corner. Wallace just shaves the conversion attempt across the face of goal. Margin is four.
Brisbane Broncos 16-12
77 min: Brisbane hoist another bomb but Chris Walker has it safely on his own 20m line. Parramatta push upfield.
78 min: The Eels try running it on the last with no success, Gerard Beale makes a break after the Eels lose it. Broncos attack.
79 min: Knock on by Maitua fielding a kick near the line. Broncos scrum with sixty seconds remaining. Eels will need a miracle here.
FULLTIME at Parramatta in front of 11,079 fans, Brisbane have withheld a spirited second half from Parramatta to edge home 16-12.

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