The NSW Blues have been named for the first game of the 2017 #Origin series.
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The Parramatta Eels used early possession to their advantage, scoring after just five minutes, and were able to hold onto the ball for the entire first quarter of the match.
A strong run by rookie centre Ryan Morgan put the Eels in scoring position and on the fifth tackle Daniel Mortimer grubbered towards the tryline. The ball was juggled by Benji Marshall and as he tried to bat it back Jeff Robson swooped and dived over the line for the first points.
Six minutes later the Eels were in again to pile on a 12-0 lead within 10 minutes. This time a penalty for a high tackle on Chris Walker put the Eels in scoring position and they were able to catch the Tigers in-goal for a line drop out.
Jeff Robson dummied and stepped his way through the line in the ensuing set and was brought down just a metre away. Hooker Casey McGuire simply slipped out of dummy half and scored.
McGuire broke through the Tigers defence from the kick-off, passed to Robson who was able to offload to Jarryd Hayne, who was caught by Benji Marshall a metre from the line.
The Eels were able to retain possession close to the tryline and in the 16th minute the lead was extended to 18-0 when Jeff Robson saw some space behind the Tigers defenders and kicked to it. Justin Horo chased and grounded the ball for the Eels' third try.
It continued into the second quarter when the Eels' kicking game again gave Parramatta good possession. Mortimer kicked long and the chase was excellent, handing Parramatta a line drop out.
From there it was pure Hayne magic when the star fullback stepped past Benji Marshall and Andrew Fifita, bringing the ball around under the posts to give the Eels a 24-0 lead.
The Tigers finally hit back a few minutes later with a long ball out to Lote Tuqiri finding the Eels' defence short, but failure to convert kept the score at 24-4.
Just before the break Parramatta captain Nathan Hindmarsh showed speed and attacking ability reminiscent of his youth when he intercepted a pass five metres from his own line.
On an 85-metre run, Hindmarsh stepped past numerous defenders and drew the Tigers in before offloading to give Horo a free run to the line and his second try of the night.
In the second half both coaches gave a number of new players a chance on the field.
The Tigers were the only team to score in the new half, with a long flat ball from Marshall stretching the Eels' defence too far and Tuqiri scored his second try.
With the change of personnel the game was more even in the second half, though the Eels still looked threatening at times with the ball. Their defence was also strong, snuffing out many of the Tigers' try-scoring opportunities.
The Eels held onto their big lead to win the game 30-10 in front of a strong crowd at Campbelltown Stadium.
PARRAMATTA EELS 30 (Justin Horo 2, Jeff Robson, Casey McGuire, Jarryd Hayne tries; Luke Burt 5 goals) WESTS TIGERS 10 (Lote Tuqiri 2 tries; Benji Marshall goal) at Campbelltown Stadium. Crowd: 12,761.
The Pirtek Parramatta Eels' NYC clashed with the Wests Tigers at Campbelltown Sports Stadium on a heated Saturday afternoon. The Eels lead early however a late comeback from the home team sealed their win, 30-18.
The Eels started with great momentum; a strong first run from new recruit Eni Folau had the Tigers on the back foot early and Parramatta were able to gain the upper hand in the first twenty minutes, earning 12 valuable points with tries to Jarrod Azar and Aidan Carney.
Parramatta Eels 18 (Tries: Jarrod Azar, Aidan Carney, Daniel Tupou Goals: Jaydin Tavita 3/3)
Wests Tigers 30 (Tries: Matt Evans 2, Sean Craig, Sean Spence, Faleula Finau Goals: Justin Smith 5/5)