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Eels hang on for the
Parramatta Eels 22 v Sydney Roosters 20
at Parramatta Stadium
Referees: Sean Hampstead
The Parramatta Eels have just outlasted the clock to score their third victory of the season, defeating the Sydney Roosters 22-20.
In a match featuring it's fair share of handling errors, it was Parramatta who opened the scoring through Chad Robinson. Brett Delaney slotted the conversion to take the Eels to a 6 nil lead after 10 minutes. The match then appeared to be going through the motions until the Eels scored 3 tries in the last ten minutes, allowing them to go to oranges in front with a 22-0 scoreline.
The Roosters bounced straight back into the match courtesy of a Chris Flannery try just after halftime, and from there the match went back and forth until the Roosters did what the Eels did to them, scoring 3 tries in 12 minutes to come within 2 points, with enough time remaining to snatch the win.
Parramatta somehow managed to defend stoutly in the dying minutes, earning their third win of 2006, also giving coach Jason Taylor his first victory in the NRL, albeit a nail-biting one.
From all reports, both teams came through this match without any major injuries. Next week the Eels take on the Dragons under lights at OKI Jubilee, while the Roosters head south to meet the Storm in Melbourne.
Parramatta Eels: 22
Tries: John Morris, Chad Robinson, Daniel Wagon, Brett Delaney
Goals: Brett Delaney 3/4
Sydney Roosters: 20
Tries: Ryan Cross, Chris Flannery, Amos Roberts, Craig Wing
Goals: Craig Fitzgibbon 1/1, Amos Roberts 1/3
By the Clock:
The bookies are finding it tough to split the teams, Eels are paying $1.90, Roosters at $1.92. A win today for the Roosters should see them spend another week in the Top 8, whilst the Eels yet again need that elusive victory to kick-start their campaign and snap a 4-game losing streak.
Weather: Bright and sunny.
Parramatta: Michael Vella will start in the front row, replacing the recently retired Paul Stringer. Justin Tsoulos comes onto the bench. Luke O'Dwyer drops off from the 18 players named.
Roosters: Anthony Tupou has apparently suffered an asthma attack prior to the match and has been replaced by Shane Shackleton who will start the match. Jamie Soward comes into the side at halfback, shifting Amos Roberts to the wing.
1 min: NEWS Amos Roberts kicks-off and play is underway at Parramatta Stadium
10 min: TRY Parramatta Eels
Robinson barges over from close range after a repeat set of six. Delaney converts.
15 min: NEWS Craig Wing makes his way onto the field as the Roosters struggle to get their kick-chase game into gear.
20 min: NEWS Roosters concede a 5th tackle penalty, Eels now on the attack close to the Roosters line.
23 min: NEWS Jeremy Smith wastes a great chance for the Eels, kicking the ball into touch on the 3rd tackle when they had the Roosters on the rack.
26 min: NEWS Joel Reddy knocks on in his own in-goal from a Finch bomb. Roosters on the attack from the goal line restart.
28 min: NEWS The Roosters knock-on after a repeat set of six, attacking the Eels line. Both sides are making errors at crucial times.
30 min: NEWS Timana Tahu breaks the line and offloads to Reddy who takes Sowards' tackle. The ensuing grubber kick results in another set of 6 to the Eels.
32 min: TRY Parramatta Eels
Jeremy Smith cross-kicks to Jarryd Hayne's wing, Hayne bats it down to Delaney who scores the try. Conversion attempt by Delaney is unsuccessful.
36 min: TRY Parramatta Eels
Dean Widders breaks the line and offloads to Timana Tahu who in turn fires a rifle pass to John Morris who scores a great long-range try. Delaney converts.
39 min: NEWS Wing kicks out on the full, giving the Eels one last chance to add to their already dominant scoreline.
40 min: TRY Parramatta Eels
Jeremy Smith puts up a little chip-bomb which hits the upright and lands in the in-goal area, Wagon forces the ball to go to halftime with a commanding 22-0 lead. Delaney converts.
40 min: NEWS HALFTIME. The Eels look to be on the road to resurrection after easily playing their best 40 minutes of the season. The Roosters on the other hand seem to be waiting for the next guy to do something special to get them going.
41 min: NEWS Brett Delaney kicks off and the second half is underway.
43 min: TRY Sydney Roosters
Chris Flannery barges over despite attention from Widders and Reddy. The try is awarded after consultation from the video ref. Roberts misses the conversion.
46 min: NEWS The Roosters are targeting Delaney's wing as it leads to another break. The Eels get the handover as Hayne makes a try-saving tackle.
48 min: NEWS Riddell offloads for Widders who uses quick hands to a flying Eric Grothe but the referee calls it back for a forward pass.
58 min: NEWS PJ Marsh replaces Riddell who has given great service off the bench for the Eels. All Parramatta forwards have been given a rest thus far apart from Nathan Hindmarsh who of course is backing up from State of Origin I.
60 min: NEWS Tahu intercepts a pass and streaks away only to be brought down 20 metres from the Roosters line. He plays the ball to Grothe who is penalised for playing on after being called held.
63 min: NEWS Soward knocks on with the line wide open after a chip and chase from Wing and Roberts. The Roosters appear to be their own worst enemy today, they can't take any chances the Eels are giving to them.
66 min: TRY Sydney Roosters
Craig Wing scores, backing up on the inside after the Roosters make a length of the field break down Grothe and Tahu's wing. Fitzgibbon converts the try.
71 min: NEWS Anasta gets the penalty as he chips through for himself and is knocked over. Roosters on the attack and playing the better footy at this stage.
74 min: TRY Sydney Roosters
Parramatta players stop and stare as Amos Roberts scores after an uncontested bomb which the Eels allowed to bounce. Roberts misses the conversion.
76 min: NEWS Hindmarsh is penalised for stripping the ball, giving the Roosters a great chance with time running out.
78 min: TRY Sydney Roosters
Roberts knocks back a bomb close to the Eels line, it goes through the hands until Ryan Cross scores. Roberts converts.
79 min: NEWS Jarryd Hayne comes up with an ankle-tap try saver on Amos Roberts, forcing him into touch. If the Eels hold onto the ball for 6 tackles, they win, simple as that.
80 min: NEWS FULLTIME. The Eels can think themselves extremely lucky as they let in 20 unanswered points in the second half to sneak away with 2 vital competition points.
Leagueunlimited.com players of the match:
3 - Nathan Hindmarsh
2 - Timana Tahu
1 - Craig Wing