Finals hopes well and truly alive for the Eels

The Bandage Bear Cup played between the two sides will stay with the Parramatta Eels once again, as their second half display to keep the Bulldogs scoreless and in single figures, to defeat the higher placed Bulldogs by 27-8.

The first half was a more even contest with both sides playing solid footy. The Eels headed out to an early lead with tries to Burt and Grothe and the signs were there that the Eels were focused on victory.

The Bulldogs as anticipated, managed to work their way back into the game before the break with Idris and Goodwin both crossing the line. The score at halftime 10-8 to the Eels and the promise of a hard fought second half.

The Bulldogs came out with a lot of passion however the Eels solid defence snuffing out their fire, and any chances of points in the second half. Offloads also a killer for the Bulldogs defence as the Eels saved their best game of the season for tonight. This following on from a Monday night win over the Storm.

A second try to Grothe and also Kingston and Moimoi scoring, meant it was a tough night for the Bulldogs players, and a well deserved victory for the visiting Eels side.

Match Details Parramatta Eels 27 def Canterbury Bulldogs 8 Round 20 - Saturday July 25th, 2009 5:30pm Venue: ANZ Stadium, Homebush Referee: Steve Lyons & Alan Shortall Touch Judges: Daniel Eastwood & Luke Potter Video Referee: Chris Ward Crowd: 31,664 Halftime: Eels 10 Bulldogs 8

Canterbury Bulldogs 8 Tries: Jamal Idris, Bryson Goodwin Goals: Hazem El Masri (0/2)

Parramatta Eels 27 Tries: Eric Grothe (2), Luke Burt, Kevin Kingston, Fuifui Moimoi Goals: Luke Burt (3/5) Field Goals: Luke Burt (1/1) Player of the Match 3 Points: Jarryd Hayne (Eels) 2 Points: Fuifui Moimoi (Eels) 1 Point: Luke Burt (Eels) Live Commentary

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BULLDOGS: 1. Luke Patten 2. Hazem El Masri 3. Josh Morris 4. Jamal Idris 5. Bryson Goodwin 6. Ben Roberts 7. Brett Kimmorley 8. Ben Hannant 9. Michael Ennis 10. Michael Hodgson 11. Gary Warburton 12. Andrew Ryan (c) 13. David Stagg Interchange: 14. Brad Morrin 15. Chris Armit 16. Greg Eastwood 17. Daniel Holdsworth; Reserves: 21. Yileen Gordon EELS: 1. Jarryd Hayne 2. Luke Burt 3. Krisnan Inu 4. Joel Reddy 5. Eric Grothe 6. Daniel Mortimer 7. Jeff Robson 8. Nathan Cayless (c) 9. Matthew Keating 10. Fuifui Moimoi 11. Nathan Hindmarsh 12. Joe Galuvao 13. Todd Lowrie Interchange: 14. Kevin Kingston 15. Broderick Wright 16. Ben Smith 17. Tim Mannah

The Eels are as per programme following up from their win over the Storm on Monday night. The Bulldogs see the return of Hannant from injury. Holdsworth comes into the starting line up for Stagg, Gordon to the bench.

10,000 free tickets boosts the crowd numbers for the Bulldogs. Lots of noise greets both sides from the rather vocal crowd.

1 min: Ennis gets the game underway.

2 min: Early penalty to the Bulldogs and they're hot on attack.

6 min: Knock ons galore so far by both the sides is not aiding any consistent attack.

9 min: TRY Parramatta Eels A brilliant grubber kick thru for Burt by Mortimer on the run gets the Eels on the board. A diving put down is deemed a try by the video ref. Conversion attempt by Luke Burt unsuccessful. Parramatta Eels 4-0

14 min: TRY Parramatta Eels Almost a 100 metre run by Hayne sets up the try for Grothe as the Bulldogs defence splits open easier than peeling a banana. Conversion attempt by Luke Burt successful. Parramatta Eels 10-0

19 min: 5th tackle penalty a coach killer as the Bulldogs once again allow the Eels a scoring chance.

21 min: Three mistakes in the space of two minutes and the Bulldogs get off the hook with possession going their way 30 metres out from their line.

23 min: Eels unlucky as a 40/20 attempt is millimetres short.

26 min: Grothe knocks on just in front of the Bulldogs line. A Bulldogs attack hoping to get on the scoreboard.

27 min: TRY Canterbury Bulldogs The Bulldogs score on the 1st tackle out wide as Idris is spun on the line and scores. Conversion attempt by Hazem El Masri unsuccessful. Parramatta Eels 10-4

29 min: Ennis tries for a 40/20, the ball hits the line. Eels have the scrum.

33 min: TRY Canterbury Bulldogs Knock on both ways with once again the Bulldogs getting the benefits on attack. Roberts seeing Goodwin alone out on his wing, put the perfect kick thru for the try. The conversion just shaves the upright and stays out. Conversion attempt by Hazem El Masri unsuccessful. Parramatta Eels 10-8

39 min: Kimmorley quite happy to kick the ball out on the 5th tackle to wind down to the break.

HALFTIME: An even contest so far in the match, with unforced errors keeping the scoring low.

41 min: The Eels get the second half underway, and Grothe is pinged for a grapple tackle on the 1st play.

43 min: Line Dropout - Bulldogs

44 min: The Eels defence too strong as the Bulldogs attack wiltered close to the line.

45 min: The Bulldogs defence returns the favour as the 5th tackle kick fails to get to halfway.

48 min: TRY Parramatta Eels Once again a burst by Hayne aids the Eels attack, resulting in Grothe spinning on the line and scoring. Conversion attempt by Luke Burt successful. Parramatta Eels 16-8

54 min: TRY Parramatta Eels A simple dummy and Kingston is over. Conversion attempt by Luke Burt unsuccessful. Parramatta Eels 20-8

60 min: The Bulldogs trying to crawl back into the game but the Eels are up to the task riding high on confidence.

63 min: Line Dropout - Bulldogs

64 min: Another wave of attack by the Bulldogs however determined defence bu Parramatta halts any scoring opportunities.

67 min: Crowd figure an impressive 31,664

68 min: FIELD GOAL Parramatta Eels All the time in the world, and straight down the middle. Parramatta Eels 21-8

73 min: Hayne is on fire for the Eels as he easily works the ball away from the line.

74 min: Line dropout - Eels.

75 min: TRY Parramatta Eels Mortimer makes the metres and Moimoi finishes it off in style and no one on defence was going to stop him. Conversion attempt by Luke Burt successful. Parramatta Eels 27-8

78 min: Line dropout - Bulldogs

80 min: Solid defence stops any more chance of scoring for the Bulldogs tonight.

FULL TIME: Offloads and determined defence the stand out for the Eels tonight as they keep the distant thoughts of Finals footy still in their sights. The Bulldogs kept to single digits for the first time in 2009.