Full Time
4:00pm Mon April 5, 2021
Round 4 - Accor Stadium, Sydney Olympic Park - Crowd: 29056

Match Overview

The Parramatta Eels have continued their undefeated start to the season with a hard-fought 36-22 win over the Wests Tigers at Stadium Australia. 

Adam Doueihi terrorised Parramatta's outside backs with his kicking game and scored a try in defeat but the power game up front, orchestrated by Reed Mahoney was crucial for the away side.

The Eels were helped by a dominant first 40 minutes from their forward pack, with Reagan Campbell-Gillard, Nathan Brown, Isaiah Papali'i and Junior Paulo all topping 70 metres by the break. 

The Tigers were guilty of sitting back and not playing with enough line speed to shut down the forward momentum which powered Parramatta to an early 16-0 lead. 

Reed Mahoney's crash balls to big men close to the line proved one of their biggest assets, drawing in multiple defenders often and leaving the Tigers exposed out wide. 

The opening try though was all Mitchell Moses, who danced around near the Tigers' line before putting in a deft kick to set up Marata Niukore for the opening try.

A set restart five minutes later heaped more pressure on Michael Maguire's men and a late offload from Brown saw Mahoney put Papali'i crashing over.

Mahoney again was involved shortly after when he put Tom Opacic through and the Tigers' line defence was once again left exposed. 

The only real opportunities the Tigers had early was on the back of towering Adam Doueihi bombs and it was the five-eighth's kicking game that proved Paramatta's downfall late in the opening half.

Clinton Gutherson was first to fumble a Doueihi kick, handing the Tigers a full set on Parramatta's line.

It would end with Luciano Leilua tapping the ball back to Daine Laurie for their first try of the afternoon.

Only four minutes later the Tigers had their second with Blake Ferguson the latest victim of a Doueihi special.

It was the quick thinking of Moses Mbye though, who flicked it up for Luke Brooks, that saw Stefano Utoikamanu surge over for a try against his former side. 

A late error from Asu Kepaoa off a Shaun Lane kick spoiled their late fightback though.

The foundations for the try were set by a Mahoney short ball to Oregon Kaufusi, dragging defenders in and leaving the outside men exposed on the following play.

Opacic was the beneficiary, scoring his second after Gutherson did well to get the kick through.

The first try in the second half would be crucial in determining whether this would go on to be a back-and-forth thriller or comfortable Parramatta victory. 

It looked like it would be the latter as Ferguson charged over in the corner to extend Parramatta's lead to 14 in the 45th minute.

Doueihi though, who was the Tigers' best in defeat, had something to say about that.

Errors crept into both team's game and proved costly for Parramatta when Doueihi stepped through to score and reduce the deficit to eight heading into the final 15 minutes.

A thrilling finish well and truly ensued when a Leilua offload saw Luke Brooks link with Jacob Liddle to make it a two-point contest.

In the end it would be the boot of Ferguson that proved the difference, with the Eels winger toeing it ahead for Gutherson, who as always had made the effort to be there in support and he was rewarded.

Ferguson scored a try right before the siren as the Tigers tried a late crossfield kick, making the final score 36-22.

The Eels host the in-form Dragons next Sunday night while the earlier game sees the Tigers against the lowly Cowboys. 

3. Reed Mahoney

Was critical in getting Parramatta's forwards getting over the advantage line and chimed in with a pinpoint kicking game.

2. Nathan Brown

119 running metres, two offloads and a try assist along with 27 tackles in an all-round strong performance.

1. Adam Doueihi

Gave Parramatta's outside backs nightmares and straightened up the attack when it was needed.