Eels toppled at home as Raiders hold nerve

Round 9
Parramatta Eels 10 v Canberra Raiders 30
at Parramatta Stadium
Referees: Jason Robinson

Match Summary:

A disciplined Canberra Raiders have defeated a deplorable Parramatta Eels by 30 points to 10 this evening at Parramatta Stadium.

The Eels were on the back foot right from the start tonight ? as Lincoln Withers strolled in for a try which demonstrated the rugby league smarts of five eighth Jason Smith, who held the pass back and the second man play generated the Raiders? first try of the night.

A subsequent try to Craig Frawley at the 25th minute confirmed that an upset tonight was a distinct possibility. Clinton Schifcofske added the extras and the Raiders held a 12-0 advantage.

The Eels hit back through Glen Morrison at the 31st minute, but Canberra wouldn?t budge as Adrian Purtell crossed for the first of his double and the Raiders held an unlikely 18-4 lead at the break.

The Eels came out firing in the second half. Dean Widders produced a nifty grubber in behind the Raiders? line and the ball was there for Matt Petersen to force. The successful conversion drew the Eels within eight points of Canberra, and at that stage an Eels? comeback looked like a possibility.

But a pathetic final 20 minutes from the Eels summed up their night, and successive tries to Simon Woolford and Purtell ensured that prospects or thoughts of an Eels comeback were far-fetched at best.

Parramatta was appalling tonight with ball control and discipline. They may need to hold a few more of their trademark crisis meetings to rectify the situation they currently find themselves in.

Canberra, while not flash, were very disciplined tonight. While they will struggle to threaten for the title at the end of the year, a top eight finish doesn?t look completely out of the question and they are a side that plays well within their limitations.

On the injury front, Matt Petersen has an arm injury which will come under further scrutiny early in the week for the Eels. Meanwhile, for Canberra, Simon Woolford has possible damage to his knee and Alan Tongue may have a slight jaw problem.

No concerns judiciary-wise for either side, unless the match review committee sees otherwise on Monday.

Both these sides play on Sunday in round 10; with Parramatta set to meet the Bulldogs at Telstra Stadium, whilst Canberra will host Cronulla at Canberra Stadium.

Parramatta Eels: 10
Tries: Glenn Morrison, Matthew Petersen
Goals: Brett Delaney 1/2
Canberra Raiders: 30
Tries: Craig Frawley, Lincoln Withers, Simon Woolford, Adrian Purtell(2)
Goals: Clinton Schifcofske 5/5

By the Clock:
Pre-Match min: NEWS The lowly Parramatta Eels host the slightly superior Canberra Raiders this evening at Parramatta Stadium, if ladder positions are anything to take seriously.

A number of changes to both sides; they are as follows:

Parramatta: Fuifui Moimoi into the starting line-up with Nathan Cayless moving to the bench; PJ Marsh in for John Morris who has been omitted; Paul Stringer comes into the starting line-up for Michael Vella who moves to the bench; Mark Riddell moves to the second row with Nathan Hindmarsh moved to the bench.

Canberra: Todd Carney has been ruled out injured with Marshall Chalk coming onto the bench.

1 min: NEWS KICKOFF! Match underway at Parramatta Stadium

5 min: TRY Canberra Raiders
Lincoln Withers strolls in for a try on the back of a beautiful pass from Jason Smith. Smith held the pass back nicely for Withers, the try was referred to video referee Bill Harrigan for onstruction but the decision was a mere formality. Poor defence from Jeremy Smith who missed a straight-forward one-on-one tackle which led to the try.
Raiders 6-0

13 min: NEWS Scrappy start for the Eels here. They look disjointed in attack and vulnerable in defence which is a bad sign early on. Canberra have had a disciplined start which will hold them in good stead if Parramatta can't get things together. Still 6-0 the Raiders lead.

21 min: NEWS Still 6-0 to Canberra but given the trends of this match, they should hold a much greater lead. Parramatta's ball control leaves a lot to be desired.

25 min: TRY Canberra Raiders
Jason Smith lays on another Canberra try, this time winger Craig Frawley exploits a crafty second-man play to cross out wide for the Raiders.
Raiders 12-0

31 min: TRY Parramatta Eels
Simple short-side play from the Eels results in a try to Glenn Morrison. The Raiders' defence was underprepared on that occasion.
Raiders 12-4

35 min: TRY Canberra Raiders
Another simple short-side play; this time down the other end of the paddock with Jason Smith again involved heavily with exceptional lead-up work, and Adrian Purtell has scored in the corner.
Raiders 18-4

40 min: NEWS Halftime: The Canberra Raiders lead the Parramatta Eels by 18 points to 4 at Parramatta Stadium this evening. The Eels have been woeful in every aspect of their game tonight, looking as though they'd rather be out on the town than playing footy here. Canberra have been well-disciplined and are well on track to record an upset victory.

40 min: NEWS Second half kicks off at Parramatta

51 min: NEWS Still 18-4 and Canberra will be looking to hang onto this lead, in contrast to last week's efforts against Brisbane. Matt Petersen has an arm injury and he appears to be struggling out there.

55 min: TRY Parramatta Eels
Dean Widders illustrates his creativity yet again; placing a neat grubber kick in behind the Raiders defensive line for Matt Petersen to pounce on.
Raiders 18-10

60 min: TRY Canberra Raiders
A pathetic attempt at a tackle from Chad Robinson results in an elementary try to Simon Woolford next to the posts. The Eels' wheels are falling off.
Raiders 24-10

66 min: NEWS Canberra in control of this match now. Just 14 minutes remaining and with the way Parramatta are playing, a Raiders victory is a safe bet.

73 min: TRY Canberra Raiders
Icing on the cake now as Adrian Purtell picks up a loose ball generated by Eels winger Eric Grothe, and runs 70 metres to score down the other end. Game over.
Raiders 30-10

80 min: NEWS Fulltime: Canberra have defeated Parramatta by 30 points to 10 at Parramatta Stadium tonight. Canberra displayed a very disciplined performance, whereas the Eels were nothing short of deplorable. Match report to come...
----------------------------------------- players of the match:
3 - Jason Smith
2 - Tom Learoyd-Lahrs
1 - Lincoln Withers