Parramatta Eels put together a fantastic first half display to score a dozen points and put away the depleted Melbourne Storm 14-nil tonight at Bankwest Stadium.
Coming off their shock loss to the Dragons last weekend, the Eels needed to respond. They showed in the first half, against albeit a makeshift Storm outfit, they were quite slick in the first half and ran in tries to Waqa Blake and Maika Sivo alongside a pair of Mitchell Moses goals to lead 12-nil.
The result moves the Eels back into equal second position alongside the team they vanquished tonight - Melbourne Storm on 24 points. The impressive point for Eels coach Brad Arthur will be keeping the Storm side to nil in the game.
From their opening set, the Eels looked to spread the football. Some early errors cruelled their attack and Mitchell Moses opened the scoring from a penalty goal to make it 2-nil. Their right side combined for Ryan Matterson to poke through and Waqa Blake stepped through to make it 8-nil.
The method which the Eels scored their second four-pointer will please their coach Brad Arthur for the slick delivery which allowed Sivo to make it 12-nil but it will infuriate his Storm counterpart Craig Bellamy at the ease which the left side opened off the scrum and the side usually precise on details broke down.
It was a willing performance from the young Storm side. The only second half points came from another Moses penalty goal to stretch it to 14-nil but the Eels looked to land the knockout blow through fancy play and pushed several passes to blow out the score.
Young utility Nicho Hynes brought some second half spark to the Storm attack but it lacked the usual thrust and movement which has become symbolic of the Storm in the last decade. There will be further issues with possible injuries to hooker Brandon Smith and five-eighth Ryley Jacks both left the field with injury to add to their already lengthy injury list in recent weeks.
They also have some looming trouble at the judicary with debutant Cooper Johns and Nelson Asofa-Solomona both put on report for dangerous tackles. The latter resulted in Asofa-Solomona having a stint in the sin bin in the second half.