Eels back to winning ways after physical battle with Tigers

Parramatta Eels welcomed Wests Tigers to Bankwest Stadium, as both sides looked to claim bragging rights over their western Sydney rivals.

After a disappointing start last week against the Sea Eagles, the Eels were looking to start the faster of the two sides.

The Tigers had others ideas though, as a penalty allowed the visitors to charge up the field to within metres of the line.

A short ball from Harry Grant to Luciano Leilua on the fifth tackle was enough for the second-rower to crash over for an early lead.

After ten minutes, the Eels were level as Maika Sivo received the ball with loads of space down the left edge and bumped off Adam Doueihi to score in the corner.

After a mistake in their next set, the Tigers had the chance to regain the lead and managed to force a goal-line drop-out after Benji Marshall’s kick.

From the resulting set, the Tigers worked the ball from left to right on the fourth tackle and David Nofoaluma ran in from 10-metres out for his 10th try of the year.

With Ryan Matterson and Mitchell Moses up against their old side, they were looking to make an impact.

However, it was Russell Packer who made an impact on Matterson as the prop-forward charged straight at the Eels man, with Matterson having to leave the field for a Head Injury Assessment after he came out of the tackle wobbling, and would not return to the field.

Further ill-discipline from Parramatta allowed the Tigers to take a shot at goal for an eight-point lead and Moses Mbye duly delivered.

Just after the 20th minute, Reagan Campbell-Gillard picked up a short-ball from Clint Gutherson just inside his own half, rounded Adam Doueihi and did enough to beat the tackle of Tommy Talau to score a wonderful solo effort.

With 15 minutes to go to the break, Harry Grant was penalised for holding on in the ruck and Moses added the two points to level the score.

Michael Chee-Kam entered the field in the 26th minute, and after getting his head in an awkward position when tackling Shaun Lane and picked up a very serious injury.

After a long break, Chee-Kam was stretched off the field on the Medi-Cab in a neck brace.

With the second-half providing plenty of excitement, Mitchell Moses decided to add to that.

After noticing that Doueihi was defending in the line, the chipped over the top and regathered on the bounce to slide over under the posts.

The Eels pushed for a fourth try towards to end of the half but the Tigers held firm.

HALF-TIME: Parramatta Eels 18-12 Wests Tigers

In the opening stages of the game, a high-bomb from Moses caught Doueihi off guard and looked to cause him some trouble.

The full-back also accidentally copped a boot from Nofoaluma and also had to leave the field for a HIA.

After forcing a repeat set, Parramatta attacked the Tigers right edge, and Clint Gutherson kick across the floor was pounced on by Shaun Lane to extend the lead.

With an hour gone, the Eels still led by ten, but the Tigers were finally starting to get themselves into decent field position.

Parramatta managed to hold firm though, and with 16 minutes of the game left they spread the ball left to Maika Sivo and the big Fijian slid over to score for a 14-point lead.

With the time ticking away, the Eels were looking for one more score.

Moses fifth tackle kick was knocked back by Waqa Blake and the ball bounced all over the place, and towards Blake Ferguson who dived over miraculously to dot down between his legs.

However, Andrew Davey knocked on before the ball reached Ferguson and the try was disallowed.

With two minutes to go, the Tigers did manage to grab a consolation as Marshall, Brooks and Mbye combined to create space for Talau to cut back inside and beat the cover defence to score.

Wests had the ball in hand in the final seconds, but Talau’s pass was intercepted and then the game ended.

FULL-TIME: Parramatta Eels 26-16 Wests Tigers


Parramatta Eels

Gutherson, Sivo, Jennings, Blake, Ferguson, D. Brown, Moses, Campbell-Gillard, Mahoney, Paulo, Lane, Matterson, N. Brown

Interchanges: Davey, Niukore, Utoikamanu, Takairangi, Gower, Jennings

Tries: Sivo (2), Campbell-Gillard, Moses, Lane

Goals: Moses (3/6)

Wests Tigers

Doueihi, Nofoaluma, Lawrence, Mbye, Talau, Walters, Marshall, Aloiai, Grant, Packer, Leilua, McIntyre, Eisenhuth

Interchanges: Chee-Kam, Brooks, Clark, Slore

Tries: Leilua, Nofoaluma, Talau

Goals: Mbye (2/4)

Referee: G. Sutton

Touch Judges: C. Butler, Z. Przeklasa-Adamski

Video Referee: B. Galea

Image Source: @NRL (Twitter)

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