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Parramatta break the drought
Parramatta have recorded their first win in 10 games with a see-sawing 26-22 victory over the Wests Tigers in front of 12,013 fans at Parramatta Stadium.
It was a clash between two sides playing for nothing besides pride but developed into an entertaining contest that kept everyone intrigued until the final siren.
Parramatta welcomed back their superstair fullback Jarryd Hayne who went into first receiver but it was the Tigers who struck first in a game where the lead changed eight times over the course of the eighty.
David Nofoaluma fresh from his acrobatics against Manly produced a tamer effort finishing off a quick hands movement to go in the corner. Marshall converted and it was 6-0 early.
The Eels wouldn't be kept quiet for long, as Jarryd Hayne asserted his will on the contest. He started the backline movement to send Sio away for the first try in the 16th minute and gave the final pass for the Mullaney try three minutes later. Despite the wayward goalkicking, they had the lead.
Being filled with a young side the Eels were going to make mistakes and rushing up in defense against Benji Marshall is like waving a red rag to a bull. Simona shrugged off the tackle and put Koroibete away.
Hayne playing as a five-eighth wasn't staying out of the game long though, as he poked through the line. His run setting up for Vai Toutai to crash over to send the home crowd into the break cheering and with a lead.
The joy lasted almost halfway into the second half when Marika Koroibete earned a brace in his return. Simona once again the link man between Marshall and the try-scorer to re-take the lead.
Joesph Paulo pulled a rabbit out of the hat, burrowing under several Tiger defenders after the Eels went the length of the field with two penalty calls. The noise within Parramatta Stadium rose an octave with a grandstand finish in prospect.
The euphoria was dampened around the ground when Tim Simona playing on the wing after Marika Koroibete put an inside and away on Ken Sio. His try may have quelled the Eels resistance and confirm the second successive spoon for their Western Sydney rivals.
No one told Parramatta though - they earned an awkward six again call from an Anasta intercept. It went from right to left but ended in the hands of Ben Roberts who found Vai Toutai who dived over to send Parramatta Stadium into raptures and earn the Eels a much needed victory.
Parramatta Eels 26 Wests Tigers 22
Venue: Parramatta Stadium
Halftime Score: Parramatta Eels 14-10
LeagueUnlimited.com Players of the Match:
3 points - Jake Mullaney
2 points - Jarryd Hayne
1 point - Tim Simona
PARRAMATTA EELS (26)
Tries: Ken Sio, Jake Mullaney, Vai Toutai (2), Junior Paulo
Conversions: Jake Mullaney (2/4), Joseph Paulo (1/1)
WESTS TIGERS (22)
Tries: David Nofoaluma, Marika Koroibete (2), Tim Simona
Conversions: Benji Marshall (3/4)
LeagueUnlimited.com Live Commentary
Team news: Eels see a few positional changes. Vai Toutai returns to the side in the centres. Jake Mullaney replace Semi Radradra on the wing. Pat O'Hanlon and Peni Terepo come onto the bench. Finally, Daniel Harrison is OUT, which sees Mitch Allgood start in the forwards.
Wests Tigers are unchanged, 1-17
Eels: 1. Jarryd Hayne 2. Ken Sio 18. Vai Toutai 3. Ryan Morgan 21. Jake Mullaney 6. Ben Roberts 7. Luke kelly 8. Tim Mannah 9. Matt Keating 16. Mitch Allgood 11. Reni Maitua 10. Fuifui Moimoi 13. Darcy Lussick Interchange: 14. Joseph Paulo 15. Peni Terepo 17. Junior Paulo 19. Pat O'Hanlon
Tigers: 1. James Tedesco 2. David Nofoaluma 3. Blake Ayshford 4. Tim Simona 5. Marika Koroibete 6. Benji Marshall 7. Braith Anasta 8. Keith Galloway 9. Joel Luani 10. Adam Blair 11. Liam Fulton 12. Bodene Thompson 13. Sauaso Sue
Interchange 14. Ava Seumanufagai 15. Jack Buchanan 16. Ben Murdoch-Masila 17. Curtis Sironen
Scored by David Nofoaluma. Conversion attempt by Benji Marshall successful.
Not good signs early for the Eels - first time they've been tested and they have cracked. Tigers sent it through the hands with Ayshford flicking it to the winger who steps inside and scored. Benji Marshall with his first attempt slides it inside.
Wests Tigers 6-0
Scored by Ken Sio. Conversion attempt by Jake Mullaney unsuccessful.
Lovely work from the Eels there - All the spine clicking together to send a cut-out to Sio to slide in for the try. Mullaney taking kicking duties, misses.
Wests Tigers 6-4
Scored by Jake Mullaney. Conversion attempt by Jake Mullaney unsuccessful.
GREEN LIGHTS.. TRY! Eels sweep it to the left this time.. finding Jake Mullaney in a huge hole allowing him to power through the gap to score! Mullaney steps up to convert his own effort and misses.
Parramatta Eels 8-6
Scored by Marika Koroibete. Conversion attempt by Benji Marshall unsuccessful.
Benji is going to make you pay if you rush up on him. Marshall got it to Simona who was rushed upon by Toutai who misses and it was simple catch and pass to Koroibete. Marshall from the sideline goes wide.
Wests Tigers 10-8
Scored by Vai Toutai. Conversion attempt by Jake Mullaney successful.
Parramatta have been threatening through the ruck all half and have delivered. Jarryd Hayne poked through the gap and gets through. Next two tackles they go left and find Toutai in the corner. Mullaney with his third attempt.. well where did that come from, straight as an arrow over!
Parramatta Eels 14-10
Scored by Marika Koroibete. Conversion attempt by Benji Marshall successful.
You can't keep giving Koroibete that much space, he will make you pay! Marshall got it to Simona who has the simple job to pass to Marika who strides in. Marshall with a kick to possibly go ahead puts it straight over.
Wests Tigers 16-14
Scored by Junior Paulo. Conversion attempt by Jake Mullaney successful.
GREEN LIGHTS.. TRY! He got it down! No problems there and the Eels will be back in the lead. Mullaney with the easy kick, converts.
Parramatta Eels 20-16
Scored by Tim Simona. Conversion attempt by Benji Marshall successful.
GREEN LIGHTS.. TRY! Simona has gone onto the wing with Koroibete off. He had space and just went in and away on Sio for the four pointer! Marshall has the duties to put the Tigers in the lead again from out wide.. he puts it right over the black dot.
Wests Tigers 22-20
Scored by Vai Toutai. Conversion attempt by Joseph Paulo successful.
TRY Eels! WOW that was side to side! Hayne to Maitua who feigns to go himself goes down the short side finding Roberts who in turn gave it to Toutai to dive over and send the Parramatta Stadium crowd wild! Joseph Paulo has taken kicking duties and never looked like missing!
Parramatta Eels 26-22