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The Parramatta Eels have kept their finals hope alive with a gutsy 28-24 victory over the Sydney Roosters in front of 12,468 fans at the Sydney Football Stadium.
The inaugural Jack Gibson Cup was won on the back of the Eels rigidly sticking to their solid game plan, which included kicking well for territory and playing up tempo in both defence and attack. The first 10 minutes of the game saw the Eels dominating field position and territory, admittedly on the back of a lopsided penalty count.
Nathan Hindmarsh took full advantage after a Shaun Kenny-Dowall error in the eighth minute to give the Eels the early lead. A further penalty goal took their lead out to eight until two tries in five minutes from the Roosters gave them a four point lead.
The Eels kicked another penalty goal and scored a try through the flying Joel Reddy to go in at the break 16-12.
Three penalties in quick succession, including one that was converted to two points had the home crowd seething, and they made this point loud and clear to referee Jared Maxwell. The Roosters players however, took no notice and went on to tie the game up in the 48th minute.
One try a piece in the closing stages had the crowd on the edge of their seats until Brett Finch found Krisnan Inu out wide and he had more than enough pace to score in the corner and give the Eels the lead again.
Despite Anthony Tupou going agonisingly close in the 78th minute, the Eels held out and on the back of that performance, may be a dark horse for the looming finals series. The Roosters will be ruing their missed chances and will need to put this game behind them and focus on their remaining matches.
Match Details Parramatta Eels 28 def Sydney Roosters 24 Round 22 :: Sunday August 10th, 2008 3:00pm Venue: Sydney Football Stadium Referee: Jared Maxwell Touch Judges: Matt Cecchin, Paul Holland Video Referee: Phil Cooley Halftime: Eels 16 Roosters 12 Crowd: 12,468
Sydney Roosters 24 Tries: Amos Roberts, Shaun Kenny-Dowall (2), Sam Perrett Goals: Craig Fitzgibbon (4/4) Parramatta Eels 28 Tries: Nathan Hindmarsh, Joel Reddy, Joe Galuvao, Krisnan Inu Goals: Krisnan Inu (6/7)
LeagueUnlimited.com Player of the Match 3 Points: Krisnan Inu (Eels) 2 Points: Lopini Paea (Roosters) 1 Point: Brett Finch (Eels)
LeagueUnlimited.com Live Commentary
Good afternoon fellow NRL fans and welcome to the Sydney Football Stadium for this crunch match between the Sydney Roosters and the Parramatta Eels. It