The Parramatta Eels have bounced back against the Titans, recording an 18-point win over the Gold Coast Titans at Cbus Super Stadium
Despite the gap between the two sides on the ladder, this matchup was expected to be a close one, even more so an hour before kickoff, when it was revealed Parramatta would be missing origin stars Moses and Paulo, while all 3 of the Titans' would back up.
Five minutes in, it looked like the Titans had got off to the dream start, however replays revealed Corey Thompson had knocked on in goal. Two minutes later, the Titans were threatening again, however the Eels were gifted field position due to foul play on their winger Haze Dunster.
Parramatta took full advantage of this field position through five-eighth Dylan Brown, who turned on the accelerator to break through the Titans frontline defence and burn fullback AJ Brimson on his way to the tryline.
The biggest turning point of the match came in the 22nd minute, where Kevin Proctor was rightly sin-binned for placing Eels big man Isaiah Papali'i into a dangerous position. The effect was immediate, with Shaun Lane spinning his way over the line courtesy of some good play from the hooker Reed Mahoney.
The next 5 minutes for the Titans were a blueprint on how not to defend with 12 men. The Eels made 80 or more metres in basically all of their sets, and it resulted in two more tries for the Blue and Gold. For the first one, Nathan Brown threw a ball to Matterson, who broke the line and linked up with Brown again on the inside. He had only the fullback to beat, and gave it to Gutherson in support, who then handed it off to Reed Mahoney, who had a try to go with the assist in his return from injury.
Off the back of another 80 metre set, Clint Gutherson put in a superb kick which resulted in an even better bounce for rookie winger Haze Dunster to score and push the lead out to 20. Kevin Proctor then came back onto the field, his side down by 14 more points than they were when he was initially binned.
It appeared as if the onslaught would continue 10 minutes into the second half, with the Eels unleashing an array of offloads to set up back rower Ryan Matterson with his 4th try of the year and make it 26-0.
The Titans did end up mounting some sort of resistance however, with Ash Taylor throwing a contender for cutout pass of the year to put Brian Kelly over the line untouched in the 61st minute.
They would score again 5 minutes later, when Peachey's kick was deflected off Dylan Brown and picked up by Fifita, who raced away to the tryline.
That was where the comeback ended, with the siren sounding while the score was 26-8 to the Eels.
Next week, the Eels are back at Cbus to play the Raiders, while the Titans will play an "away" game against the Dragons on the Gold Coast.