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The Parramatta Eels bounced back from a 37-0 mauling at the hands of the St George Illawarra Dragons to record an emphatic 25-12 win at Win Jubilee Oval in Kogarah this afternoon to close the final match of the opening round of the finals in front of just over 18,000 fans.
They were gutsy, tough and brilliant. The Eels started the match completely on the back foot as the Dragons enjoyed several back-to-back penalties, a glut of possession and all the territory. It was said before the match that the Dragons probably had the harder preparation coming in off a 37-0 win against the same opponents, the critics were probably right.
Despite having all the possession down the right end, the Dragons showed a sign of respect for their opposition in a tense opening and Jamie Soward duly popped over a penalty goal when the Eels were penalised inside their 10.
The Eels continued to muscle up in defence and forced a mire of errors from the Dragons who suffered from an awful kicking game. Finally when the Eels got their opportunity they took it with Jarryd Hayne deciding to go to the air with a spiralling bomb. The Dragons couldn