The Sydney Roosters got off to a brilliant start, but 3 unanswered tries by the Eels in 13 minutes turned a one-sided contest into a hard fought, entertaining grind to the final whistle, the Tricolours holding on for a 31-24 victory.
The Roosters opened the scoring in just the third minute when Jared Waerea-Hargreaves, standing at first receiver, dummied to pass to the middle, then turned and ran straight through a poor tackle effort by Regan Campbell-Gillard before stretching out in the tackle by Reed Mahoney to score a great try. Sam Walker converted.
Parramatta responded 5 minutes later when Mitch Moses showed the ball before busting through the defensive line, ran downfield and drew James Tedesco before hitting Isaiah Papali'i with a lovely ball and he ran 25 metres to score under the posts. Moses converts the try.
The Roosters replied almost immediately when Walker's grubber kept rolling and refused to pop up for Clint Gutherson, who kept waiting for the favourable bounce, before it rolled past him. Tedesco chasing hard got his hands on the ball first to score. Walker converts from out wide.
In the 16th minute Tom Opacic was sent to the sin bin for tackling Tedesco without the ball. Walker kicked a penalty goal to extend the Roosters lead to 8 points.
In the 24th minute Walker pulled off a brilliant chip and chase which he regathered to score near the posts. He then converted his own try.
Right on halftime Walker potted a casual field goal to give the Roosters a 21-6 lead at the break.
The Roosters continued to build their lead just after play resumed when they scored in the 43rd minute. After a good run by Daniel Tupou down the left side, the Roosters sent the ball right to Luke Keary who lobbed a pass over the intercept attempt of Hayze Perham, where Joey Manu received the ball before he flicked a great ball out to Joseph Suaalii who juggled it before diving over to score in the corner. Walker failed to convert from touch.
The game was turned on its ear shortly after thanks to a flurry of points from the Eels. In the 46th minute Papali'i strolled through some feeble tackle efforts to score on the right side. Moses converted.
Two minutes later Moses produced a short side play where he ran down the sideline, grubbered infield, chased his kick, regathered and scored a splendid try! He then converted it from out wide.
Just 7 minutes later the Eels scored again when Joseph Paulo got a brilliant offload away to Mahoney who then passed to Ryan Matterson, who stood and struggled in a gang tackle in the Roosters ingoal, before falling over and scoring under the black dot. Moses added the extras to reduce the Roosters 19 point lead down to just 1.
The Eels momentum was halted almost immediately when Keary kicked for the corner and Suaalii flew very high to takes the catch cleanly. He then twisted in the tackle as he hit the ground before falling over the line to score. Walker failed to convert from the sideline.
Walker kicked a penalty goal with 7 minutes remaining to give the Roosters a 7 point lead. The Eels threw the ball about but try as they might, could not add any more points.