The NSW Blues have been named for the first game of the 2017 #Origin series.
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Sharks centre Nigel Vagana put the demons from last night's test match to rest after he scored the match winning try in golden point extra time as the Sharks beat the Eels 18-14 in a thriler at Parramatta Stadium.
There was no telling on what was going to unfold when the teams went to the sheds at halftime with the Sharks leading 8-4 in what appeared to be a stop start affair with neither side treating the football with much respect.
Then in the second half the Eels scored back to back tries to lead 14-8. This was a lead they held until the 76th minute when Daniel Dumas pounced on a perfectly placed Brett Kimmorley kick to score his 1st try in 1st grade. The ensuing conversion attempt by Kimmorley leveled the scores and then in the 1st minute of golden point while the Eels defensive line was down 1 player due to an injury to David Vaealiki, Sharks interchange player Michael Sullivan made a bust a Nigel Vagana was on hand to back up a sprint through to score the match winning try.
For the Sharks it is the first time they have won back to back games this season and sends and ominous warning to the rest of the competition that the Sharks will be no easy beats in 2004.
For the Eels it is not all bad news as they can really hold their heads up especially after their effort in the second half.
By the clock: 0 min: Kick Off. Good news for Eels fans as Nathan Cayless gets the all clear from the Eels medical staff to play in tonight's match.
3 min: Try-Eels: Eric Grothe sprints 60 metres out of dummy half to score in the corner. Luke Burt is unsuccessful with the conversion. Eels 4-0.
10 min: Try-Sharks: Phil Bailey scores in the corner after the Eels turn the ball over 10 metres out from their own line. Brett Kimmorley is unsuccessful with the conversion. 4 all.
22 min: News: Sharks centre Nigel Vagana's run of bad form from last night's test match continues as he throws a pass that ends up going over the sideline.
28 min: News: Sharks interchange player Sam Isemonger is receiving attention from the Sharks trainer after receiving a knock in a tackle from John Morris.
39 min: Try-Sharks: Matthew Reick scores in the corner after some tremendous lead up work from Brett Kimmorley. Kimmorley is unsuccessful with the conversion. Sharks 8-4.
40 min: News: A fight starts but is quickly brought to a halt as referee Steve Lyons tells both sides to calm down.
Half Time Report: In a stop start affair the Sharks are playing like a side that really wants the 2 competition points with Brett Kimmorley guiding them around the park really well. After a promising start the Eels seemed to have dropped off and if they can't get themselves back up there is no way they will be able to win.
46 min: Try-Eels: Eels prop forward Adam Peek scores his first try in 4 years after running onto a good pass from Adam Dykes. Luke Burt is successful with the conversion to put the Eels in the lead. Eels 10-8
50 min: Try-Eels: Eels winger Matt Petersed out jumps Sharks winger Matt Reick to score in the corner. Luke Burt misses the conversion. Eels 14-8
54 min: News: Eels interchange player David Vaealiki is still to see any on field action.
56 min: News: David Vaealiki finally comes onto the field.
71 min: News: Sharks hooker Pat Gibson just falls short of the tryline after trying to barge over from dummy half. The Sharks are finishing strongly but the Eels are holding them out.
74 min: News: Eels half back Adam Dykes is unsuccessful with an attempt at field goal from 42 metres out.
76 min: Try-Sharks: Lock Forward Daniel Dumas scores his 1st try in 1st grade after catching a perfectly placed Brett Kimmorley kick next to the posts. Brett Kimmorley levels the scores with the conversion. 14 all.
78 min: News: Brett Kimmorley misses a field goal attempt from a relatively easy position.
80 min: News: Brett Kimmorley misses another attempt at field goal with just over 30 seconds remaining.
80 min: News: With scores tied the players get ready for golden point extra time.
81 min: News: Bad news for the Eels as David Vaealiki is down with an injury to his knee or ankle.
81 min: Try-Sharks: New Recruit Nigel Vagana scores under the posts and lays the demons from last night's test match to rest after backing up a bust by Michael Sullivan.
Fulltime Report: In a great finish both teams can hold their heads up high. For the Sharks it is the first time they have been able to string consecutive victories together since last year. For the Eels they were very unlucky losers as they were leading 14-8 going into the last 5 minutes. ----------------------------------------- Leagueunlimited.com players of the match: 3 -B Kimmorley (Sharks) 2 -N Hindmarsh (Eels) 1 -D Nutley (Sharks) -----------------------------------------