Eels down Broncos for fifth straight win
30 July, 2017, 12:00 am
Parramatta have produced their best performance of the season in one of the best games of the season, streaking away late in a hugely impressive 28-14 win over the Broncos at ANZ Stadium on Friday night.
The performance was all the more remarkable given the way both teams started the game, with the Broncos racing two tries past Parramatta before the home side even seemed to realise the game had started.
However the Eels bossed most of the game from that point, though two tries in the final five minutes meant the scoreline completely belied the tightness of the contest that saw the two teams no more than two points apart from the 17th minute to the 75th.
The win all-but guarantees the Eels will play finals footy for the first time since 2009, while Brisbane remain in the top four but missed a gilt-edged chance to move to second in their quest to nail a top-four finish.
Both teams also suffered injuries to key players with Broncos hooker Andrew McCullough (knee) and Eels lock Nathan Brown (concussion/jaw) failing to finish the game. Adam Blair (shoulder charge), Brown (high tackle) and Kenny Edwards (dangerous/contrary conduct) may yet each have a case to answer at the judiciary too following an at-times spiteful contest.
The Eels looked completely shot early as the Broncos raced out of the blocks with newly re-signed centre James Roberts running amok. Matt Gillett finished off a long-range movement started by Roberts in the fifth minute before Roberts scored himself just two minutes later off a nice Gillett offload.
At 12-0 after seven minutes the Eels looked in for a long night but they got back into the contest in the middle on the back of some big efforts from the likes of Nathan Brown, Tim Mannah and Siosaia Vave while their halves continued their excellent kicking form.
A brave grubber from Mitch Moses, who took the ball to the line and got belted by a possible shoulder charge from Adam Blair, resulted in a try to Tepai Moeroa in the 14th minute.
A superb no-look cut-out pass from Moses three minutes later allowed Kirisome Auva’a to cross untouched and at 12-all after 17 minutes a cricket score was on the cards.
Despite some end-to-end footy there were no further tries in the opening 40, which was punctuated by a huge melee in the 37th minute.