The Parramatta Eels have needed golden point to regain the top spot on the NRL ladder following their 25-24 victory over the Canberra Raiders at Bankwest Stadium.
The first half was something that could only be described as bizarre with something in the air that saw players fire up, the set restart bell go off on multiple occasions without referee Klein calling for one.
The Eels opened the scoring after just five minutes when some ill-discipline from the Raiders put themselves under pressure and it was Ryan Matterson who scored the opening try after Mitch Moses was able to bring defenders in and give Matterson a solid run to the line to score.
The bunker then knocked back two more scoring efforts from the Eels with knock on calls going against Mitch Moses and Dylan Brown respectively to keep the score at 6-0. The Raiders then hit back shortly after when Josh Papali'i got a free passage to the try line after the Parramatta defence over-compensated for the outside men.
Controversy reigned supreme on the Eels next try after a clear forward pass was missed by the officials into the lead up when Elliott Whitehead threw the ball forward to Nick Cotric who kicked back inside for Jack Wighton who gave it to Whitehead who scored for the Raiders to put them in front.
Injury concerns mounted up for both team with Corey Horsburgh injuring his foot which could've saved Canberra from a meltdown by the forward who was baiting for a fight whilst Mitch Moses left the field with a suspected torn calf muscle. A penalty goal on the stroke of half time brought the Eels back to within 4 with Clint Gutherson taking over the kicking duties.
The second half was set up to be another strange 40 minutes and it lived up to being very strange indeed. The Raiders got to the line first but were called back for a forward pass by the officials on a pass that looked to be flat.
Parramatta retook the lead soon after when Ray Stone was given a free passage to the line after just like the Eels did in the first half, the Raiders were expecting play to go wide but instead Reed Mahoney went short and gave it to Ray Stone for his first NRL try.
The Eels then extended their lead just after the hour mark when Shaun Lane was able to run a good line and get a great offload away to Michael Jennings to score. Clint Gutherson's conversion pushed the Eels out to an eight-point lead.
The victory looked to have been assured for the Blue and Gold when Maika Sivo was able to get on the outside of the Raiders defence to score. The missed conversion from Clint Gutherson gave Canberra a rough outside chance of trying to get back into it.
A two-minute double for Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad did just that for the Raiders with the first coming off the boot of George Williams who chipped into open space behind the Eels line and CNK was able to score. The second of the double for CNK came straight off the kick off when the Raiders looked to switch play down the left and Elliot Whitehead found space to get through before finding Nicoll-Klokstad to score. Jarrod Croker converted both to force the game to go into extra time.
Golden Point ensued and it was the Raiders who had the first chance for field goal but George Williams couldn't get a strike away and handed the ball over in good position. The Eels then themselves couldn't get a field goal away with Clint Gutherson rushed into a bomb that almost paid off when he chased through and luck both favoured and went against Gutherson with a bounce perfect for the Eels fullback only for him to slip before being able to get to it.
The second half of Golden Point saw Parramatta being the only team to get a chance and it was some scrappy play from the Eels that actually saw them get into perfect position. The Eels were desperate to get into field position to take a shot and some scrappy offloads saw a Raiders hand knock one down and a scrum put them into good position.
The ensuing set was too much for the Raiders to hold out and Clint Gutherson was able to get a clean shot about 25m out from the posts and it went through to give the Eels a 25-24 victory.
Next weekend, the Eels take on the Cowboys on Friday night at Bankwest Stadium whilst the Raiders host the St George Illawarra Dragons - finally at home in Canberra.