Tigers outlast Eels in Easter Monday classic

The Wests Tigers have left it late to beat the Parramatta Eels 21-18 in front of 50,668 fans in an Easter Monday classic at ANZ Stadium.

In an exciting first half, the Tigers were their own worst enemy, making eight unforced errors in the opening 40, most of which came when they were in good attacking range.

The Eels on the other hand, made the most of their opportunities as Jarryd Hayne continued to show glimpses of his 2009 form, which lead the Eels to a grand final appearance that year, scoring the opening two tries of the match.

Hayne opened the scoring in the 9th minute as he found some space out wide from an Eels set play to score in the corner. Hayne's second was just brute strength followed by a burst of speed as he busted through a couple of weak tackles before racing into the corner for his second of the afternoon in the 24th minute.

The Tigers didn't finish the half empty handed however. After being denied a try in the 31st minute when Sitaleki Akauola dropped the ball reaching for the try line, Blake Austin broke through some tired Eels defence to score just before the break.

The second half seemed to see a change in momentum every 10 minutes with neither side being able to assert their dominance over the opposition for long periods.

The Tigers opened the second half scoring in the 45th minute when Luke Brooks pounced on a loose ball from Jarryd Hayne before running 80 metres to score in the corner. The Eels hit back on 51 minutes when Jarryd Hayne chipped to Ken Sio in the corner who picked the ball up around his ankles to score.

When Chris Sandow kicked a 40/20 in the 64th minute to give the Eels good field position you felt they were on the verge of wrapping up the win but once again ill-discipline gifted the Tigers a try. For the second time in the half a loose pass lead to an intercept, with Pat Richards the man to take advantage this time, racing almost the entire length of the field to score under the black dot.

Once again the Eels hit back through Semi Radradra to bring the scores level but ultimately it was another Eels mistake, this time a knock on by Tim Mannah, which lead to a Luke Brooks field goal, to give the Tigers 19-18 lead.

Pat Richards made sure of the result with a last minute penalty goal from halfway which secured a three point win for the Tigers.

Once again, consistency in refereeing decisions will be a talking point coming out of this match with Will Hopoate denied a 72nd minute try for obstruction in a decision that seemed to fly in the face of the controversial decision in the Manly v North Queensland match on Friday night.

On a more positive note, a man of the match performance from Aaron Woods continues to see him knock on the door for New South Wales State of Origin selection. His 108 metres and 36 tackles will surely put him right at the top of the list of Origin bolters for Laurie Daley to consider come next month.

Next week the Eels head north to Townsville to face the inconsistent Cowboys, while the Tigers have another Sunday arvo date with the Leichhardt faithful when they host the high-flying Gold Coast Titans.


Match Details
Parramatta Eels 18 Wests Tigers 21
Venue: ANZ Stadium
Crowd: 50668
Halftime Score: Parramatta Eels 8 Wests Tigers 6

LeagueUnlimited.com Players of the Match:
3 points - Aaron Woods
2 points - Jarryd Hayne
1 point - Adam Blair

PARRAMATTA EELS (18)
Tries: Jarryd Hayne (2), Ken Sio, Semi Radradra
Conversions: Chris Sandow (1/4)

WESTS TIGERS (21)
Tries: Blake Austin, Pat Richards, Luke Brooks
Field Goals: Luke Brooks (1/1)
Conversions: Pat Richards (3/3)
Penalty Goals: Pat Richards (1/1)


LeagueUnlimited.com Live Commentary

TEAM NEWS | Each side has one minor change - for Parramatta, Fuifui Moimoi drops to the bench with Darcy Lussick to start. The Tigers lose Liam Fulton, meaning Sitaleki Akauola starts. Blake Austin keeps a bench spot as a result.

Well who would have thought that come round 7 of the 2014 premiership season that the Wests Tigers and the Parramatta Eels would be in the top 8. Well that is the reality, and this afternoon's match looks to be an interesting match-up between two sides who are, so far, exceeding all expectations.

Jarryd Hayne is showing glimpses of his 2009 form and Chris Sandow hasn't missed a beat since coming back into first grade after a very tough 2013 season which saw him play predominately in the NSW Cup. Young gun Luke Brooks has also settled in well to a full time role as Tigers halfback. He has showed maturity beyond his years while leading his side around the park but the question remains, how will the Tigers cope without their inspirational captain Robbie Farah?

A bit of a delay to kick off at ANZ Stadium with a huge amount of people still trying to get in.

Teams coming out on to ANZ Stadium ahead of kick off in just a few minutes.

KICK OFF at ANZ Stadium. The Tigers will have first use of the ball.

2: A wobbly kick from Anasta ends a solid first set for the Tigers.

3: Hayne almost makes a break with his first touch. Ominous signs perhaps for the Tigers. The Eels put up a bomb and Sandow almost plucks it in the contest.

4: An Anasta bomb is easily defused in goal. Both sides throwing the ball around early.

6: PENALTY Tigers - a hand in the play the ball from the Eels.

7: UNFORCED ERROR WESTS TIGERS
Keith Galloway makes an unforced error.

The Tigers with good field position but Galloway drops a ball under pressure.

7: PENALTY Eels - Tigers caught offside.

9: VIDEO REFEREE - Hayne goes over in the corner but we are looking at obstruction.

9: TRY PARRAMATTA EELS
Scored by Jarryd Hayne. Kick to come.

No obstruction. It is a TRY!

10: UNSUCCESSFUL CONVERSION PARRAMATTA EELS
Conversion attempt by Chris Sandow unsuccessful.

Sandow misses the conversion from out wide.

11: Sandow with another bomb. Both sides testing the back 3 with high balls early.

12: PENALTY Tigers - hand on the ball.

13: UNFORCED ERROR WESTS TIGERS
Braith Anasta makes an unforced error.

The Tigers with another attacking opportunity but once again they drop in within close range.

15: Richards in the open out wide and is brought down 20 metres out.

16: Ken Edwards with a brilliant flick pass to Corey Norman. Not sure how he managed that one.

17: Luke Brooks kicks it over the touchline on the last tackle. Parramatta on top at the moment and Brooks realises his side needs a rest.

19: The Tigers allowing the Eels plenty of second phase play. They really need to try and wrap up the ball a bit better.

20: An inside ball to Sandow sees him make a long break down field. But he ruins the play with a pass that goes straight to Adam Blair!

21: UNFORCED ERROR WESTS TIGERS
David Nofoaluma makes an unforced error.

The Tigers ball handling letting them down in good field position.

22: Hayne not happy with a tackle he thought came after he had kicked the ball. The referees are happy with it though.

23: UNFORCED ERROR WESTS TIGERS
Pat Richards makes an unforced error.

Brooks put Pat Richards into a bit of space but he can't handle it after a bit of a juggle.

24: TRY PARRAMATTA EELS
Scored by Jarryd Hayne. Kick to come.

Nothing much looks to be on as Hayne runs at the defence but he busts straight through and is in the corner AGAIN!

25: UNSUCCESSFUL CONVERSION PARRAMATTA EELS
Conversion attempt by Chris Sandow unsuccessful.

Sandow misses from almost the same spot as his last attempt.

26: The Parramatta Eels throw a pass over the sideline straight after points.

27: A kick to the wing of Pat Richards but Ken Sio takes it under pressure.

28: Nathan Peats with a 40/20 attempt but it comes up 10 metres short.

30: UNFORCED ERROR PARRAMATTA EELS
Semi Radradra makes an unforced error.

A knock on in the play the ball to gift the Tigers the ball inside the Eels half.

32: VIDEO REFEREE - Sitaleki Akauola extends his arm to try and stretch over the line for a try. Perhaps he was just short.

32: NO TRY. As suspected, Sitaleki Akauola was in fact short and knocked the ball on in the process.

32: PENALTY Tigers as Corey Norman runs behind his own player. Good old fashioned shepherd there.

33: UNFORCED ERROR WESTS TIGERS
Joel Luani makes an unforced error.

Sounding like a broken record here but AGAIN the Tigers knock it on in good attacking position.

34: PENALTY Eels. Rubbing salt into the wounds as they are piggy-backed into the Tigers half.

35: Hayne runs through on a smart chip into the Tigers in goal but knocks it on.

36: Joseph Paulo puts in a kick on the ZERO tackle and none of his team mates knew it was on. Not sure what his thinking was there.

38: PENALTY Tigers - A good kick from Sandow but Hayne tries to do too much in trying to force Rowe back in goal.

39: TRY WESTS TIGERS
Scored by Blake Austin. Kick to come.

A late first half try as Austin busts through tired Eels defence. You can't say the Tigers didn't deserve it.

40: SUCCESSFUL CONVERSION WESTS TIGERS
Conversion attempt by Pat Richards successful.

Richards converts from close range and it is only a two point difference.

40: HALF TIME at ANZ Stadium, and the Eels lead the Tigers 8-6.

40: Second half is UNDERWAY at ANZ Stadium. Let's hope it is as exciting as the first.

41: PENALTY Eels - Martin Taupau lifts Moi Moi into a very dangerous position. Luckily he didn't land badly.

43: UNFORCED ERROR PARRAMATTA EELS
Chris Sandow makes an unforced error.

Joseph Paulo busts through a few tackles but Sandow spills the offload.

43: PENALTY Tigers which will get them out of their own half and in good attacking range.

44: Sitaleki Akauola puts in the kick for the Tigers and it goes dead in goal on the full.... by at least 10 metres.

45: TRY WESTS TIGERS
Scored by Luke Brooks. Kick to come.

Hayne throws a pass to nobody and Luke Brooks runs 80 metres to score.

47: SUCCESSFUL CONVERSION WESTS TIGERS
Conversion attempt by Pat Richards successful.

Pat Richards converts and the Tigers are in the lead for the first time today.

47: INJURY UPDATE: James Gavet has injured his hamstring and won't be back today.

48: A very good set after points from the Tigers and Hayne is pinned 10 metres out from his own line.

49: An attempt at a 40/20 from Sandow but he doesn't quite have the angle.

50: Another good set from the Tigers. They are rolling up the field with ease at the moment.

51: TRY PARRAMATTA EELS
Scored by Ken Sio. Kick to come.

WOW what a try. Hayne puts in a chip to the corner and Sio picks it up around his ankles to score.

52: SUCCESSFUL CONVERSION PARRAMATTA EELS
Conversion attempt by Chris Sandow successful.

Sandow adds the extras and the Eels are back in the lead again.

54: UNFORCED ERROR PARRAMATTA EELS
Joseph Paulo makes an unforced error.

Looked like something was on for the Eels but it falls apart.

56: A mistake from the Tigers and the Eels have the ball 10 metres out.

57: A kick to Ken Sio. He goes over in the corner but he stepped into touch first. Close call.

59: OFFICIAL CROWD: 50,668. Well done to everybody who made their way out to ANZ today.

60: The Eels throw a loose ball and the Tigers pick it up off the deck.

61: Bodene Thompson almost gets himself over for a try but the Eels hold him up.

61: Luke Brooks with a smart kick into the in goal. Sandow is trapped and will be forced into a line drop out to restart play.

62: Tigers with all the ball at the moment. Eels defence is scrambling.

64: 40/20 PARRAMATTA EELS
Chris Sandow kicks a 40/20.

After soaking up a huge amount of pressure, Sandow comes up with the 40/20. What a play!

65: TRY WESTS TIGERS
Scored by Pat Richards. Kick to come.

OH NO! The Eels were looking dangerous but Pat Richards takes an intercept and runs the length of the field to score.

66: SUCCESSFUL CONVERSION WESTS TIGERS
Conversion attempt by Pat Richards successful.

Richards converts his own amazing try.

67: Bodene Thomsons makes a bit of a break and picks up 20 metres.

68: Tigers muscling up in defence. Eels only got to their 30 metre line on that set.

71: Rowe is forced to take an Eels kick dead in goal. Line drop out coming up.

72: PENALTY Eels on a few metres from the Tigers line.

72: VIDEO REFEREE - A simple play down the left and Hopoate is over. Checking for obstruction.

72: NO TRY. It is one of those 50/50 calls but they say it was obstruction.

73: Chris Lawrence is stripped of the ball by Hopoate only metres from the Eels line.

75: Hayne takes a very high Anasta bomb and for a second he had clear space in front of him but he is soon brought down.

76: TRY PARRAMATTA EELS
Scored by Semi Radradra. Kick to come.

Semi Radradra has barely touched the ball tonight but he gets a vital try.

77: UNSUCCESSFUL CONVERSION PARRAMATTA EELS
Conversion attempt by Chris Sandow unsuccessful.

Sandow misses the conversion. Scores level with just over 3 minutes remaining.

78: UNFORCED ERROR PARRAMATTA EELS
Tim Mannah makes an unforced error.

Mannah knocks on in his own half. The Tigers with a big opportunity.

78: SUCCESSFUL FIELD GOAL WESTS TIGERS
Field goal attempt by Luke Brooks successful.

Brooks gives the Tigers a ONE POINT lead.

79: The restart doesn't go 10 metres and Pat Richards will take a shot at penalty goal from 50 metres out.

80: SUCCESSFUL PENALTY GOAL WESTS TIGERS
Penalty goal attempt by Pat Richards successful.

Richards kicks the 50 metre penalty.

80: Eels attempt a short restart but the Tigers take it and will run down the clock here.

80: FULL TIME at ANZ Stadium, with the Tigers defeating the Eels 21-18 in front of 50,668 at ANZ Stadium.

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