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Eels and Dragons play out stunning draw
The Parramatta Eels and St. George Illawarra Dragons have gone the distance in 90 minutes of rugby league, playing out a tense 14-all draw at Parramatta Stadium.
St George Illawarra entered the game as heavy favourites but where shocked early by Fui Fui Moi Moi, who pounced on a bubbling ball to open up a 6-nil lead for the home side.
A penalty goal to Luke Burt saw the Eels' lead increase to eight, before Adam Cuthbertson - who started at lock forward - hit back with a try of his own.
However, Parramatta struck again through Taniela Lasalo to take a deserved 14-6 lead into the shed.
The second half saw the Dragons rediscover some of their mojo and they got themselves right back in the contest thanks to winger Ratu Tagive. A penalty goal to Jamie Soward in the 70th minute then set up a tense final period in which neither side could break the deadlock.
The match then went into Golden Point where both teams traded field goal attempts to no avail. Although not coming up with a win, the performance may just prove the turning point in the Parramatta season. On the other hand, the Dragons' aurora of invincibility could be fading in the face of a gruelling representative season.
Parramatta Eels 14 drew with St George Illawarra Dragons 14
National Rugby League - Round 13 - Friday June 3, 2011 7:30pm
Venue: Parramatta Stadium
Referee: Ashley Klein and Gerard Sutton
Video Referee: Sean Hampstead
Touch Judges: Paul Holland and Ricky MacFarlane
Halftime: Parramatta Eels 14 St George Illawarra Dragons 6
Leagueunlimited.com players of the match:
3 Points - Nathan Hindmarsh
2 Points - Jarryd Hayne
1 Point - Trent Merrin
PARRAMATTA EELS (14)
Tries: Fuifui Moimoi, Taniela Lasalo
Conversions: Luke Burt (2/2)
Penalty Goals: Luke Burt (1/1)
ST GEORGE ILLAWARRA DRAGONS (14)
Tries: Adam Cuthbertson, Ratu Tagive
Conversions: Jamie Soward (2/2)
Penalty Goals: Jamie Soward (1/1)
LeagueUnlimited.com Live Commentary Welcome to Parramatta Stadium for tonight's clash between the Eels and Dragons.
No changes for the home side, while Matt Cooper's absence sees the versatile Matt Prior slide out into the centres with Adam Cutherbertson starting at lock and Jack Bosden coming onto the bench for the Dragons.
1 min: Kick off! And we are underway..
3 min: Both sides complete their first sets without too much drama..
9 min: TRY
Big Fui Fui Moi Moi gets over the line for the Eels! Luke Burt converts to add an extra two points to a great start for the home side. An upset on the cards perhaps?
Parramatta Eels 6-0
15 min: PENALTY GOAL
Parramatta PENALTY GOAL
Luke Burt adds another two to the scoreboard and the Eels lead 8-nil after fifteen minutes.
Parramatta Eels 8-0
24 min: TRY
St George Illawarra TRY
Adam Cuthbertson continues the forward try scoring trend to hit back for the Dragons. Jamie Soward makes no mistake with the conversion.
Parramatta Eels 8-6
28 min: TRY
Taniela Lasalo stretches the home club's lead to eight points with the successful conversion from Luke Burt.
Parramatta Eels 14-6
Halftime: A great first half from Parramatta has the home crowd applauding - they've shocked the Dragons to this point but can they keep it going for the full eighty minutes?
41 min: Second half is underway!
57 min: TRY
St George Illawarra TRY
Filling in for Brett Morris, Ratu Tagive gets across the stripe at a crucial moment to bring the Dragons right back into it! Soward converts and we have a tense final 20 minutes coming up.
Parramatta Eels 14-12
70 min: PENALTY GOAL
St George Illawarra PENALTY GOAL
Jamie Soward locks up proceedings with a penalty goal! Thrilling final ten minutes left!
77 min: Just four minutes to play and we're still locked up at 14-all, looks like Golden Point is where we're heading..
1 min: And we're moving into Golden Point with the scoreboard locked up at 14-all!
90 min: Fulltime: And we have a rare draw! Both teams shared field goal attempts but neither could break the deadlock - they will go home with one point each after a thrilling match here at Parramatta Stadium.