Jeff Dickinson-Fox reviews the campaign which saw Melbourne Storm crowned premiers in 2017.
5 days ago
Early in the match, the Eels took full advantage of some poor handling from Souths who were without halfback Willie Peters and forward Paul Stringer.
Souths settled and gained more possesssion midway through the first half but were unable to get on the board. The turning point came just before the break with a try to Brett Hodgson who followed a clever kick from young halfback, Michael Witt.
At half time Parramatta held a handy 16-0 lead.
Parramatta scored again soon after the break when winger Ashley Graham crossed following some more lead-up work from Witt.
Souths finally got the scoreboard with a try to David Fa'alogo but it was all too little too late.
The star of the night was Parramatta's winger Matthew Petersen who bagged four tries including two four-pointers in the final twenty minutes.
Saturday 31 May 2003 Parramatta Stadium Referee: Rod Lawrence
EELS 28 Tries: Petersen 4, Hodgson, Graham Goals: Hodgson 2/6 RABBITOHS 4 Tries: Fa'alogo Goals: Smith 0/1
League Unlimited player of the year points: 3 - M Witt (Eels) 2 - M Petersen (Eels) 1 - L Hopkins (Eels)
By the clock:
A number of changes for both sides with Willie Peters and Paul Stringer being the significant losses for Souths. South Sydney and Parramatta meeting for 100th time since Parra joined the competition in 1947. This is stand-in captain Daniel Wagon's 100th First Grade game for the Eels. Kickoff!
5 min: No score as yet. Souths errors hands over possession early on.
9 min: TRY - Eels. Matthew Petersen scores with the Eels gaining a greater share of possession. Conversion Hodgson unsuccessful. Eels 4-0
19 min: TRY - Eels. Petersen gets a double. Parramatta well in control. Conversion Hodgson successful. Eels 10-0
38 min: TRY - Eels. Hodgson scores after following through on a clever grubber kick from halfback Michael Witt. Hodgson converts his own try. Eels 16-0
HALF TIME: Eels having all the ball early on. Possession started to even up midway through the first half and Souths had their opportunities. But just before the break, the Eels scored what should be the try that breaks the back of the Rabbitohs' resistence. Eels 16-0
53 min: TRY - Rabbitohs. David Fa'alogo scores. Conversion Justin Smith unsuccessful. Eels 20-4
60 min:TRY - Eels. Petersen gets a hat trick. Conversion attempt unsuccessful. Eels 24-4
69 min: TRY - Eels. Petersen having a wow of a night gets his 4th try. Conversion attempt unsuccessful. Eels 28-4
FULL TIME: Parramatta too good on the night. The Eels managed to chalk up their third win of the year and their first win since round 6 but will remain in second last position on the table. Souths drop further away from the pack and look odds-on for the 2003 wooden spoon.