Golden Point finale for Eels and Raiders

Third played sixth when the Parramatta Eels welcomed Canberra Raiders to Bankwest Stadium in a battle between two serious title contenders who both need to bounce back from defeats last week.

After a penalty from Jordan Rapana for holding on in the tackle, the Eels kicked upfield to start a set on the Canberra 40-metre line.

Three tackles later, Mitchell Moses and Gutherson combined to push the ball right to Ryan Matterson, who had too much strength for Curtis Scott and Nick Cotric to score the first points of the game.

Parramatta’s impressive start continued just minutes later, as Mitchell Moses tapped back his kick for Marata Niukore to pick up.

However, Ashley Klein deemed the ball went forward off the half-backs hand and the try was disallowed.

With 15th minutes gone, it looked as though the pressure from the Eels finally took its toll on the Raiders.

Dylan Brown collected the ball, and his long pass to Waqa Blake gave the centre plenty of room to walk over.

However, Brown knocked the ball into the onrushing Josh Hodgson before regathering and yet another try was disallowed for Parramatta.

After holding strong for 20 minutes, the Raiders levelled the scores in their first meaningful attacking set.

Hodgson had two options from dummy-half and chose to pass the ball to Josh Papalii who walked over the line with no Eels players near him to score.

Ten minutes later, following a midfield battle between the two sides, the Raiders crossed again.

Nick Cotric ran out of room on the left-hand edge, so kicked hack inside, which was gathered by Jack Wighton, who then popped back to the outside for Elliot Whitehead to score.

The Eels could feel slightly aggrieved as Jarrad Croker’s pass to Cotric was very much forward but was missed by the officials.

It didn’t take long for the Eels to level up though, as Moses’ kick wasn’t gathered by Jordan Rapana and Maika Sivo dived on the loose ball to score.

However, Shaun Lane tapped the ball forward ahead of Rapana, so yet another try was disallowed for Parramatta.

After Shaun Lane and Corey Horsburgh had a little go at each other, the Raiders loose-forward left the field for an injury, but the Eels lost a man of their own with Mitchell Moses off the field with a calf tear.

In the resulting set, the Raiders attacked down the left once again, and Whitehead passed inside for Wighton to score, but Dylan Brown got in the way to stop a certain try and keep the 6-point gap between the sides.

The Eels were pushing to level the scores in the final minutes, but a high tackle from Jordan Rapana on Daniel Alvaro allowed Clint Gutherson to take the two points and cut the deficit to just four points.

HALF-TIME: Parramatta Eels 8-12 Canberra Raiders

The second-half started in a very physical matter, with a number of players getting treatment from trainers in the field.

Junior Paulo was one such player, and he had to leave the field for a Head Injury Assessment.

With just under half an hour remaining, the Eels took the lead once again, as Reed Mahoney ran from dummy-half, across the face or the Raiders and popped onto Ray Stone, who crossed for his first NRL try.

A midfield battle occurred once again as both sides looked to take control of the game, ut with 17 minutes left, the was the Eels who extended their lead.

Shaun Lane was the ball carrier who made a half-break after a low tackle from Curtis Scott and the second row offloaded to Michael Jennings to crash over and score.

Gutherson converted to make it 20-12 with 15 minutes remaining.

The Eels had turned it up a gear in the final quarter, and despite the absence of Moses, they spread the ball out left to Maika Sivo to cross in the corner for his first of the night.

With less than ten minutes remaining, Canberra were pushing to get back into the game, but a miscommunication between George Williams and Havili let the Eels off the hook.

With five minutes remaining though, Williams made up for his poor pass with an inch-perfect kick in between Blake Ferguson and Clint Gutheron for Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad to grab and dive over the line and score.

Croker converted to make it 24-18 with four minutes to go.

In the very next set, Elliott Whitehead made a huge break down the left-hand edge for the Raiders, running 35 metres, and with just Gutherson to beat, Whitehead passed inside to Nicoll-Klokstad for a quickfire double.

Croker was successful from the tee to level the scores with 90 seconds on the clock.

The Raiders received the kick-off on their own try-line and looked to charge up the middle of the park, with no chance of a field-goal, they kicked on the last.

The Eels tried their best to break down the left, but Gutherson was grabbed on the last and dragged into touch by Nicoll-Klokstad for Golden Point.

FULL-TIME: Parramatta Eels 24-24 Canberra Raiders

Canberra were the first team to receive the ball in the Golden Point period, but couldn’t get into one-point range, this allowed the Eels to get to within 35 metres, so Gutherson put a high bomb but slipped when he looked to grab the ball.

The Raiders won a penalty on their own goal-line for a high shot from Sivo on Croker, so kicked ahead to start their next set.

Josh Papalii got Canberra to the 40-metre line, but Jack Wighton drop-goal attempt dropped just short of the line, but Gutherson put his foot on the goal-line when catching the ball to force a 20-metre restart and seven tackle set.

The home side got to the 20-metre line, and Gutherson received the ball and struck the ball with his right foot, but just couldn’t swing the ball in between the sticks.

GOLDEN POINT HALF-TIME: Parramatta Eels 24-24 Canberra Raiders

After a knock-on from Jack Wighton on the half-way line, the Eels attacked the try-line to get into a strong field position.

Campbell-Gillard charged up to the ten-metre line, Mahoney flung the ball back to Gutherson on the fourth tackle, and the full-back nailed the one-pointer for the victory.

GOLDEN POINT FULL-TIME: Parramatta Eels 25-24 Canberra Raiders


Parramatta Eels

Gutherson, Sivo, Jennings, Blake, Ferguson, Brown, Moses, Campbell-Gillard, Mahoney, Paulo, Lane, Matterson, Niukore

Interchanges: Stone, Kaufusi, Takairangi, Alvaro

Tries: Matterson, Stone, Jennings, Sivo

Goals: Moses (1/1), Gutherson (3/4)

Drop-Goal: Gutherson

Canberra Raiders

Nicoll-Klokstad, Rapana, Croker, Scott, Cotric, Wighton, Williams, Papalii, Hodgson, Soliola, Whitehead, Young, Horsburgh

Interchanges: Havili, Guler, Sutton, Simonsson

Tries: Papalii, Whitehead, Nicoll-Klokstad(2)

 Goals: Croker (4/4)

Referee: A. Klein

Touch Judges: T. Smith, G. Badger

Video Referee: B. Norrie

Image Source: @NRL (Twitter)

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