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Starting the match as firm favourites Parramatta were only missing winger Jarryd Hayne compared with the Roosters quartet of Willie Mason, Anthony Tupou, Nate Myles and Craig Fitzgibbon to Origin duty.
The Roosters employed the unusual tactics of compressed defence which stymied the Eels attack in the early stages before Brett Finch figured things out with a cut-out pass to barnstorming winger Eric Grothe who opened the scoring in the 18th minute.
You could be excused for thinking it was a trial for NSW halves as Braith Anasta stepped two players to score a brilliant individual try from close range less than 10 minutes later to lock up the game at 6-all.
Each side went back and forth for the remainder of the half but Parramatta took the lead in the final minute with a penalty goal to Luke Burt and it appeared we were in for a drag