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The New Zealand Warriors have survived a major scare from the Parramatta Eels and run out 18-16 winners at Ericcson Stadium this evening.
Parramatta were leading 16-6 at the halftime break but some determined play from the Warriors saw the home side run down the visitors in a very exciting game. Parramatta produced one of their best performances of the season and although they came away with a loss, they showed a steely determination that has been missing in recent weeks and were inches away from causing a major upset.
The irony of the situation was P J Marsh was the best player on the park and the former Eel showed there was no love lost between he and his former club with some bruising defence and darting runs from dummy half.
Marsh stepped up and overshadowed Stacy Jones while Logan Swann had an excellent game, getting through a mountain of defence and ran like a man possessed while for the Eels, Michael Witt and Lee Hopkins had strong games.
Leagueunlimited players of the match:
3 - P J Marsh (Warriors) 2 - L Swann (Warriors) 1 - M Witt (Eels)
Scorers: WARRIORS Tries: Marsh, Meli x 2, Swann Goals: Webb 1/3, Marsh 0/1 EELS Tries: Lyon, Hopkins, Tonga Goals: Witt 2/4
By the clock:
2nd min: TRY - Warriors. P J Marsh slices through some paper thin Eels defence to score adjacent to the posts. Conversion successful. Warriors 6-0.
10th min: PENALTY GOAL - Eels. Michael Witt scores his first points in first grade with a conversion from right in front. Warriors 6-2.
18th min: TRY - Eels. Jamie Lyon scores a sensational try off a great Michael Witt grubber. Lyon raced through and grounded the ball with one hand just before the dead ball line in greasy conditions. Conversion successful. Eels 8-6.
35th min: TRY - Eels. Lee Hopkins 15 metres adjacent to the sticks as the Eels keep it simple but effective. An upset brewing perhaps? Conversion unsuccessful. Eels 12-6.
38th: TRY - Eels. More than an upset brewing as Willie Tonga scores after a simple dropped kick by Brent Webb allows Tonga to race away untouched. The Warriors are off their game and face their third consecutive loss. Conversion unsuccessful. Eels 16-6.
HALF TIME: Parramatta lead the Warriors 16-6 and are a huge chance of causing an upset over the more fancied rivals. The Warriors have it all to do in the second half.
53rd min: TRY - Warriors. A tight start to the second half and as the rain starts to tumble down, Stacy Jones bombs for Francis Meli, who outjumps Pat Richards to breathe some life into the Warriors. Conversion unsuccessful. Eels 16-10.
58th min: TRY - Warriors. Logan Swann scores to close the gap in what has been a very good game of football. Hohaia hoisted the bomb and Moodie knocked it on with Swann eventually picking up the crumbs to cross out wide. Conversion unsuccessful. Eels 16-14.
67th min: TRY - Warriors. Francis Meli barges over out wide to score a double but more importantly, the Warriors regain the lead with under 15 minutes to go. Conversion unsuccessful. Warriors 18-16.
FULL TIME: The Warriors have come from behind to win the game by two points in a thriller. Parramatta can hold their head high. They never gave up and showed they are competetive with a determined effort but congratulations to the Warriors on a gutsy win.