Time to look ahead to Sunday's decider! Rob Crosby has a full look at both teams and what to expect ...
8 mins ago
The Parramatta Eels have claimed a hard fought 18-12 victory over a determined South Sydney Rabbitohs side at Parramatta Stadium today. The Eels held a 14-0 lead at half time, but were very nearly run down by the Rabbitohs late in the game.
The Eels took a 2-0 lead after 13 minutes through a Krisnan Inu penalty goal. The two point lead quickly turned into 14 points, as the Eels threatened to embarrass the Rabbitohs. Nathan Cayless scored after Inu offloaded a Finch bomb into his arms on 21 minutes, and in the 26th minute Timana Tahu scored a fine individual try, running around defenders and though the middle of the field. Souths managed to hold out for the rest of the half despite strong Eels attacking raids.
As soon as the second half started it was apparent that Souths would improve their attack. They got on the board after 51 minutes through a Shane Rigon dummy half run.
The Eels looked to have wrapped the game up after 63 minutes following a Joel Reddy try.
The scrambling Souths defence rescued them again, pulling down Fui Fui Moi Moi metres from the line late in the game.
Souths gave themselves a chance with five minutes to go after Ben Rogers and Nathan Merritt combined to produce a fine try for Merritt.
Following a missed Brett Finch field goal, Souths broke down the field and were given a repeat set after a Parramatta knock on. They were unable to crack the line, and Eric Grothe took a brilliant catch on a bomb in the final minute to ensure the Eels would get away with the two points.
Round 18 - Full Time :: July 15th, 2007 03:00 PM Venue: Parramatta Stadium Referee: Tony Archer Half time: Eels 14-0
Parramatta Eels 18 Tries: Nathan Cayless, Timana Tahu, Joel Reddy Field Goals: Brett Finch (0/1) Goals: Krisnan Inu (3/4) South Sydney Rabbitohs 12 Tries: Shane Rigon, Nathan Merritt Goals: Nathan Merritt (2/2)
LeagueUnlimited.com Live Commentary Good afternoon from Parramatta Stadium.
The Eels host the Rabbitohs this afternoon. Last time the two sides met, the Rabbitohs embarrassed the Eels 31-6.
The Rabbitohs are 1-17.
Cordoba moves to the bench, Hindmarsh (Ian) and Cannings will start, as will Cayless.
Both teams taking to the field now.
1 min: Underway at Parramatta Stadium, the Eels in first posession.
3 min: Hegarty knocks in reaching for a ball intended for his winger.
5 min: Parramatta receive a penalty 10 out for a strip, looking dangerous on attack.
6 min: Riddell is held up as he tries to drive over the line.
6 min: A Finch grubber rebounds off the Rabbitohs and they hold out.
9 min: Souths go on attack of the back of a penalty.
13 min: PENALTY GOAL Parramatta Eels Inu lands a penalty goal. Parramatta Eels 2-0
18 min: The game opening up a bit now.
19 min: Souths knock on in prime attacking position.
21 min: VIDEO REF - For an Eels try...
21 min: TRY Parramatta Eels Finch puts up a bomb, Inu comes down with it and offloads to Cayless who manages to score next to the posts. Conversion attempt by Krisnan Inu successful. Parramatta Eels 8-0
26 min: TRY Parramatta Eels Its all one-way traffic right now! Tahu gets the ball 15 metres out, he changes direction and runs through an open gap to score next to the posts. Conversion attempt by Krisnan Inu successful. Parramatta Eels 14-0
30 min: Grothe saves a certain try, Souths recover a bomb which bounces to Jaiman Lowe who is tackled inches from the line. Replays show that the try would not have been allowed anyway for a knock on while challenging the bomb.
34 min: Parramatta pick up a drop out after Souths knock on from a bomb. Fairly harsh call.
35 min: VIDEO REF - For a highly unlikely Eels try...
35 min: NO TRY - Grothe ruled to have knocked on with the line wide open.
38 min: Inu goes very close to scoring again.
HALFTIME: And the Eels take a deserved 14-0 lead into the sheds.
40 min: Back underway at Parra Stadium!
43 min: Peachey makes a break, the Rabbits eventually throw a pass to Inu, but there is a penalty for offside.
45 min: Hegarty is wrapped up on the last tackle inches from the line and Parramatta hold out.
46 min: Tim Smith is penalised for yelling at the touch judge after a Parramatta break goes into touch.
50 min: Souths get a penalty 5 out. They're looking a lot better this half but can't crack the line yet.
51 min: VIDEO REF - For a Souths try...
51 min: TRY South Sydney Rabbitohs After 3 sets on the line, Rigon runs at a struggling Weller Hauraki and gets the ball down under the posts. Conversion attempt by Nathan Merritt successful. Parramatta Eels 14-6
57 min: Peachey fires a foward pass to Gordon who is wrapped up on the last tackle.
63 min: TRY Parramatta Eels Souths cough the ball up coming out of trouble, the Eels spead the ball wide to Reddy who scores in the corner two plays later. Conversion attempt by Krisnan Inu unsuccessful. Parramatta Eels 18-6
65 min: Souths pass the ball into touch with an overlap developing.
67 min: VIDEO REF - For an Eels try...
67 min: NO TRY - Grothe jumps and collects a bomb, who loses it when his arms collect Merritts foot on the way down.
71 min: PJ Marsh makes a break and passes inside to Moi Moi who is ankle tapped and loses the ball just short of the line.
74 min: Riddell loses the ball attempting to score down an impossibly small blindside.
75 min: TRY South Sydney Rabbitohs Souths break up the middle, and Rogers and Merritt combine for a Souths try not for from the posts. Conversion attempt by Nathan Merritt successful. Parramatta Eels 18-12
78 min: ATTEMPTED FIELD GOAL Parramatta Eels Finch misses a field goal to the right. Parramatta Eels 18-12
79 min: Parramatta knock on 15 out from their own line recovering a loose Souths pass.
80 min: Manuokafoa is held up, still 40 seconds and two plays in hand.
80 min: Grothe easily takes a bomb from Souths, ensuring the Eels will go on to win this game.