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Victory for Eels

Monday, March 31, 2014

SYDNEY - Parramatta's improvement has continued with a 32-16 win over western Sydney rivals Penrith at Parramatta Stadium.

The NRL wooden spooners for the last two season, who were denied a famous victory over Manly last week by a last-minute try, moved to 2-2 for the season thanks to a superb second-half display.

Recalled halfback Chris Sandow proved his worth with the boot by kicking four from six efforts on goal, and showed glimpses of his old self with ball in hand.

But it was new Eels folk hero Semi Radradra who proved to be the game changer scoring the crucial try just before the hour mark to give his side a lead they never relinquished.

Jarryd Hayne was the architect, firing a magnificent cut-out pass into the arms of the giant Fijian, who gave the onrushing David Simmons no chance of stopping him.

Hayne then went over from dummy-half to extend the lead before teeing up Ken Sio four minutes from time to ice the victory.

The Eels were full merit for their two points, but both sides contributed to an entertaining encounter punctuated by some moments of swashbuckling attack and some basic errors.

Willie Tonga opened the scoring after 15 minutes for the Eels, somewhat against the run of play, with his first try since round eight in 2012.

The former Queensland star hauled in a wayward Matt Moylan pass and raced 90 metres to score.

However, the lead was short-lived as Isaac John darted over from 20 metres and Moylan added the extras.

Nathan Peats restored the home side's lead and Will Hopoate looked to have extended the advantage by finishing off an outrageous final tackle play that produced several passes, only for the video referee to chalk it off for offside.

Dean Whare and Lewis Brown scored either side of halftime to give Penrith the lead, but the home side, inspired by Hayne, roared back to maintain their 100 per cent home record.

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