Leading 14-4 at half time, Manly looked likely to go on with it but were stunned by back-to-back tries from the Eels just after the break.
During this time, the Sea Eagles saw John Hopoate forced from the field with what looked like a serious leg injury.
The Sea Eagles were still in with a chance when Parramatta's Matt Petersen was sin binned for dissent in the 53rd minute. But as so often happens, its the team with 12 men that lifts and Parramatta's Jamie Lyon scored near the posts to put the home side ahead 20-16.
Nathan Hindmarsh put the match beyond doubt with a try in the 73rd minute and Michael Witt capped off a fine afternoon with the boot following a field goal just before fulltime.
Scorers: EELS 27 Tries: Solomona, Vaealiki, Lyon, Hindmarsh Goals: Witt 5/7. Field Goal: Witt. defeated SEA EAGLES 16 Tries: Watmough, Torrens Goals: Williamson 4/4
Sunday 6 July 2003 3:00 PM Parramatta Stadium Referee: Sean Hampstead Crowd: 10,358
Leagueunlimited.com players of the match: 3 - N Hindmarsh (Eels) 2 - D Heckenberg (Eels) 1 - J Lyon (Eels)
By the clock: 0 min: kickoff!
2 min: PENALTY GOAL - Eels. Michael Witt draws first blood from right in front and 30m out. Penalty received after Parra forward Daniel Heckenberg was taken out without the ball. Eels 2-0
9 min: PENALTY GOAL - Sea Eagles. Luke Williamson locks it up. 2-all
16 min: PENALTY GOAL - Eels. Michael Witt. Eels 4-2
19 min: TRY - Sea Eagles. Anthony Watmough scores after following a kick from Jason Ferris. Manly with plenty of possession. Parra earlier conceding a 40/20 and then making an error following some heavy defence from Manly's Ben McDougall. Williamson is successful with conversion from in front. Sea Eagles 8-4
32 min: TRY - Sea Eagles. Albert Torrens scores under the posts with defenders hanging off him. Conversion Williamson. Sea Eagles 14-4
HALF TIME: Sea Eagles leading by a modest 8 points when it could have been more, having come close a number of times. The Eels battling to maintain possession and will need to lift 100% if they're to be a chance. The Parra pack looking like a dog's breakfast. Sea Eagles 14-4
43 min: TRY - Eels. David Solomona scores next to the posts and Parramatta have a sniff. Follows quick play the ball. Conversion Wiit. Sea Eagles 14-10
NEWS - John Hopoate (Sea Eagles) assisted from the field with leg injury.
48 min: TRY - Eels. David Vaealiki scores and the Eels get back-to-back tries. Set up by Michael Witt. Wide conversion from Witt hits the uprights and bounces away. 14-all
53 min: PENALTY GOAL - Sea Eagles. Williamson puts Manly ahead. Matt Petersen (Eels) sin binned for dissent after giving the touch judge a spray. This costs Parramatta two points and are down to 12 men for the next 10 minutes. Sea Eagles 16-14
58 min: TRY - TRY - Eels. Jamie Lyon scores near the posts and Parra hit the front with 12 men. Conversion Witt. Eels 20-16
63 min: NEWS - Petersen back on the field. Its 13 vs 13 again.
70 min: PENALTY GOAL - Eels. Witt puts the home side 6 points ahead with only 10 minutes remaining. Eels 22-16
73 min: TRY - Eels. Nathan Hindmarsh scores out wide to put the match beyond doubt. Conversion Witt unsuccessful. Eels 26-16
77 min: FIELD GOAL - Eels. Witt rubs salt into the wounds. Eels 27-16
FULL TIME: Tremendous comeback from the Parramatta side - the forwards muscling up well in the second stanza.