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Parramatta put an end to their two game losing streak with a 44-6 demolition of the Newcastle Knights on Saturday night. After other results went their way, the Eels now sit atop the Premier League ladder after 20 rounds.
The first half was a tight affair, and as a consequence only two tries were scored. These were both to the Eels. Halfback Marcus Perenara opened the scoring for the home team when he chased a kick into the in-goal to touch down after eleven minutes. Centre Brett Delaney had no problems with the conversion from beside the posts and the Eels led 6-0. The next twenty minutes was dominated by defence from both sides, with Parramatta determined to show, with their defence, why they were equal league-leaders. The Knights, although running ninth after slipping out of the eight after their loss last week, were not going to give up without a fight. This twenty minute period of no points from either side was eventually broken in the 30th minute when Delaney scored out wide. He converted his own try, which took the Eels to a 12-0 lead with just under ten minutes from half-time. This looked to remain the half-time score until the Knights gave away a penalty in front of their posts with just under 90 seconds remaining. Delaney added the penalty goal to have the hosts in control at half-time leading 14-0.
The second half was a pointscoring spree from the home side. They added another six tries. The first of these was just two minutes into the half when winger Jarryd Hayne crossed. Delaney missed the conversion, but the Eels were well in control leading 18-0. In the 55th minute of play, James Storer, coming off the bench, added to his sides already commanding position when he crossed adjacent to the posts. Delaney was back on target with the conversion and 24-0 was the score and another embarrassing loss, following their 36-8 loss last week, was on the cards for the Knights. The Eels continued to pile on the points, when fullback Joel Reddy scored his first try in the 60th minute. Again Delaney was on target and the Eels led by 30. A sensation then happened in the 62nd minute, when Knights interchange forward Danny Vaughan, playing his first game for the club, was sent off after hitting Eel Jack Afamasaga high. After hearing a touch judges report, referee Jared Maxwell had no hesitation in sending Vaughan off. From the ensuing penalty, Afamasaga, after receiving treatment for the tackle, scored. The Eels then added another two tries in the final ten minutes, one to Joel Reddy and another to Storer to take the score out to 44-0. With just three minutes remaining, Knights hooker Nathan Berry scored a late consolation try, which, after being converted by Dane Campbell, left the final score as Parramatta 44 defeated Newcastle 6.
For the Eels, it was a great effort by the team as a whole, but prop Afamasaga was again particularly strong and finished the game with a try. Fuifui Moimoi was also a good partner in the front row for Afamasaga as they both continually took the team forward.