A late try to Maika Sivo has seen the Parramatta Eels record a 16-12 victory over the Melbourne Storm in an absorbing affair on Thursday evening.
Played in rain-affected conditions, which both teams managed effectively, the Eels showed significant improvement from their opening round performance much to the delight of 10,416 supporters at Bankwest Stadium.
In a match dictated by defence before a late flow of points, Eels fullback Clinton Gutherson laid the platform for the win with three try-saving efforts to deny Nelson Asofa-Solomona, Tui Kamikamica and Cameron Munster certain tries.
Posting first points through Sivo (21st minute) midway through proceedings, the Fijian favourite latched onto a nicely weighted kick from Mitchell Moses before powering his way to the line.
Locking the scores up at 6-all shortly before the change of ends, former Canterbury outside back Reimis Smith (37th minute) slid over for his first try in Melbourne colours after sustained pressure from the visitors.
In a moment set to court plenty of scrutiny in the days to come, Melbourne forward Felise Kaufusi was placed on report early in the second half for slamming Ryan Matterson into the ground with his elbow.
Gaining the ascendancy with a style of play bellying the conditions, a flat pass from Reed Mahoney sent Junior Paulo (67th minute) crashing over to break the deadlock.
Taking advantage of an ill-fated intercept attempt from Blake Ferguson, the Storm responded with Ryan Papenhuyzen's ricochet kick allowing Justin Olam (73rd minute) to crash over for his second try of 2021.
With the match seemingly headed for golden point after Papenhuyzen locked the scores up at 12-all, an inspired piece of play saw Sivo (77th minute) leap above George Jennings to seal the result with his second of the night.
While the final result, Kaufusi's tackle and a potential sternum injury to Asofa-Solomona will leave the visitors with much to lament, the match also marked a milestone for Melbourne captain Jesse Bromwich who played his 250th NRL game, becoming only the sixth Storm player to achieve the milestone.
Next week, the Eels host the Sharks at Bankwest Stadium on Saturday night, while the Storm take on the Panthers in a grand final rematch on Thursday evening.