Parramatta were too strong for a fast-finishing Warriors outfit winning by 28-18 at CommBank Stadium tonight, to make it back-to-back wins for Brad Arthur's men and consolidate their spot in the Top 8.
Hooker Reed Mahoney was the star for the home side, setting up two tries with some superb touches out of dummy half and his crafty kicks in general play constantly had the Warriors on the back foot.
Overall, it was a comfortable victory for Brad Arthur's men who will still have concerns following another late game fade out where they conceded some soft tries with the game seemingly won, which they simply can't afford to do against the top sides of the competition.
For New Zealand it was a solid performance, with the Warriors keeping pace with Parramatta early in the match, but crucial errors at key times cost them dearly as they just could not create any momentum to overpower the Eels.
Parramatta were happy to be back on home turf and had their fans on their feet early, when Waqa Blake crashed over for the first try of the game following a beautiful flat ball from Mahoney at dummy half close to the line. Moses missed the conversion but it was the Eels ahead 4-0.
Waqa Blake then had his second try shortly after, when Maika Sivo took an intercept off his own line and as the cover defence closed in, he showed enough composure to find his centre in support, who cruised to the try line. Moses nailed the conversion from out wide and it was 10-0.
The Warriors needed to get into the match and they were gifted an opportunity following an error from Clint Gutherson. New Zealand accepted the invitation and hit back through a blind side play close to the line, which resulted in winger Marcelo Montoya scoring in the corner just before halftime. Shaun Johnson nailed the conversion to narrow the Eels lead to 10-6 at the break.
Parramatta then took the game away with a one-two punch combination, firstly through Isaiah Papali'i steaming onto an inside ball from Mahoney to score against his former club. Minutes later the Eels made it back-to-back tries, when off a Warriors error from a kick, the ball fell into the lap of winger Bailey Simonsson who flicked the ball back inside to find his skipper Gutherson who picked up the scraps to score a simple try and extend the lead to 22-6.
Parramatta then put an exclamation point on the match when fan favourite Maika Sivo was put in the clear by Dylan Brown down the left touch line. The Fijian winger then went on a 60 metre run to score a superb try and kick his side clear by 28-6 following the conversion by Moses with ten minutes to go.
The Warriors then charged home with two late consolation tries from the hand of Shaun Johnson for winger Edward Kosi and then backrower Jack Murchie, but it wfor too little too late as Parramatta held on for a comfortable 28-18 victory.
Round 19 sees the Eels return to CommBank Stadium next Thursday night where they face the Brisbane Broncos, while the Warriors travel to the nation's capital where they face the Canberra Raiders on Saturday afternoon.