In a fortnight where point scoring has been prominent, it was the brilliant Dragons defence that was the talking point and the deciding factor in the final game of Round 5, as they downed the Eels 26-12 at Bankwest Stadium.
Blake Lawrie was held up in the 7th minute in an ominous start for the Dragons and just a few moments later Jack Bird scored a soft try on the left side. Zac Lomax converted
In the 12th minute Matt Dufty broke through the line, grubbered for himself and looked likely to win the race to the ball but he was taken out by Nathan Brown. The Bunker determined that Dufty would've won the race to the ball and he was awarded a penalty try. Lomax converted from in front.
Both sides struggled to mount any pressure over the next 20 minutes, but in the 32nd minute the Dragons shifted to the right to Dufty, who sent a perfect catch and long pass, while under pressure, to Mikaele Ravalawa who scored comfortably in the corner. Lomax nailed the sideline conversion with a perfect kick. AT halftime the Dragons had an impressive 18-0 lead.
The second half was basically a bunch of set restarts, mostly in the Eels favour.
In the 43rd minute, after conceding 4 set restarts in almost 3 minute, Tariq Sims was sent to the sin bin for ten minutes. This immediately saw Parramatta get on the scoreboard in the 44th minute when Isaiah Papali'I ran hard and straight onto a pass from Nathan Brown, close to the Dragons line, and he barged over near the posts to score a strong try. Mitch Moses converted.
A silly penalty conceded by Tom Opacic in the 56th minute saw Lomax score a gift penalty goal to the Dragons a 14 point buffer.
It didn't deter the Eels, because 7 minutes later it appeared that they had scored a good try through Clint Gutherson, however it was called back after the bunker found that Junior Paulo had obstructed Tyrell Fuimaono.
With ten minutes remaining, the Dragons extended their lead further with some lovely play by Adam Clune, when dummied right to get past Moses, then he stepped out of a weak tackle by Bryce Cartwright, before passing back inside to Dufty in support, who raced away to score. Lomax converted.
With 4 minutes remaining in the match, Gutherson scored a brilliant individual try when he stepped back infield through some scattered defence, before barging over through 3 defenders to get the ball down for a try. Moses converted.
The Eels though were unable to complete a miracle comeback. The Dragons well deserved winners 26-12.