Full Time
7:35pm Sat July 9, 2022
Round 17 - Leichhardt Oval, Lilyfield / Wanngal - Crowd: 13214

Match Overview

In a game that won't ever go down as a good game, the Parramatta Eels have come from 12-0 down to take a 28-20 win at Leichhardt Oval over the Wests Tigers.

The Eels looked to have started the scoring inside the first five minutes when Shaun Lane thought he had crossed and despite it being awarded, the Bunker stepped in to overturn it with a knock-on during the kick contest with it being ruled Lane had knocked into Daine Laurie. A second almost certain try was disallowed this time via the touch judge who ruled a forward pass, although replays showed it was a harsh call.

Momentum had shifted to the Tigers and they took advantage of some lazy defence at marker from the Eels with Nu Brown getting his way over from dummy half to score. The Tigers then extended their lead a matter of minutes later when Daine Laurie pounced on a mistake from Clint Gutherson at the back to score and the Tigers had a surprise 12-0 lead.

A capitulation ensued from the half-hour mark for the Wests Tigers when Regan Campbell-Gillard scored for the Eels after a kick from Mitch Moses couldn't get cleaned up by the Tigers. The try had a double whammy with Tigers debutant Justin Matamua sent to the sin bin for late contact on Mitch Moses after he kicked the ball.

If you could define the Tigers but a passage of play, it was what happened leading to the half hour mark when a dumb kick from Luke Brooks put the Eels into counter-attack mode which was accelerated by a penalty. Maika Sivo took advantage of his size and powered his way to the line to score. The missed conversion saw the Tigers hold onto a 12-10 lead.

Things continued to go badly for the Tigers at the start of the second half when a lost ball at the end of the first set and put the Eels onto the attack which saw Mitch Moses take the line on and going through after showing the dummy.

Just like most of the game, the only dominant force was Chris Butler's whistle who was penalty happy and stopped either side from getting any momentum. In a poorly officiated game, there was a bright moment for the officials when Maika Sivo was denied a try by the eagle-eyed touch judge who spotted the Fijian star's foot hit the touchline and Parramatta were denied.

The Eels then finally were able to crack the line again when a Mitch Moses kick was perfectly placed for a chasing Isaiah Papali'I to get through and ground the ball.

A late comeback looked to have some potential for the Tigers when David Noafaluma got a late double when Luke Brooks put him into space and scored in the corner. The second try for David Nofoaluma had questions marks on the put down but was awarded. Both conversion attempts were waved away meaning that the Tigers comeback was thwarted.

Next weekend, both sides are at Commbank Stadium with the Eels having a task against the Warriors on Friday night whilst for the Tigers things are not going to be easy when they have to host the defending premiers and current premiership leaders the Panthers on Sunday.

3. Mitchell Moses

Mitch Moses was a star for the Eels has he had the ball on a string at times

2. Isaiah Papali'i

Isaiah Papali'i was strong as always and made a big difference

1. Joe Ofahengaue

The power running of the forward was excellent an important part of keeping the Tigers in the game