SYDNEY - Parramatta cult hero Fuifui Moimoi and emerging Fijian winger Semi Radradra engineered a remarkable revival, as the Eels sent St George Illawarra to the joint merger NRL club's record setting sixth straight loss.
Down 12-0 after 15 minutes, at Parramatta Stadium on Monday, the last placed Eels fought back to lead 16-12 at the break and won 26-22.
Moimoi and Radradra each scored two of Parramatta's five tries as the Eels scored 10 straight points to lead 26-16. The Dragons got to within four with six minutes left following a converted try to prop Jack Stockwell, but Parramatta hung on.
It was just the fifth win of the season — all at Parramatta Stadium — for the last-placed Eels.
The night started poorly for Parramatta, with talismanic fullback and captain Jarryd Hayne pulling out after not recovering from a knee injury. Hayne's withdrawal forced a backline reshuffle and the Dragons scored converted tries to forwards Mitchell Rein and Tyson Frizell in the first 15 minutes.
Moimoi, who had scored just one try in 21 previous games this season and averaged one every nine games through his career, put the voice back into the Parramatta supporters, who were deathly quiet after a disastrous start. He claimed and grounded a high kick from halfback Luke Kelly for one of the more improbable tries of his career.
Parramatta were level 10 minutes later after Joseph Paulo converted a try to Radradra, who strolled over from close range after a breakdown in the Dragons defence.
Moimoi powered his way over in the 37th minute to break a 12-12 deadlock. The Dragons were level inside two minutes of the second half, with winger Daniel Vidot set up by a quick pass from Chase Stanley.