Eels down Sea Eagles
24 August, 2014, 12:00 am
SYDNEY – Parramatta have produced one of their best second-half performances in years to come from behind and beat NRL table-toppers Manly 22-12 in a thrilling clash at Pirtek Stadium.
Trailing 12-0, the Eels’ looked in real trouble on Friday night as the Sea Eagles took a commanding lead into halftime.
But what followed wasn’t in the script as the Eels, rejuvenated under coach Brad Arthur this year, scored four unanswered tries to clamber back into the top eight in front a delirious home crowd of 17,706.
The Eels went into the game with their season on life support following last week’s controversial loss to Canterbury and things looked ominous when Manly winger Jorge Taufua scored against his former team after four minutes.
Peta Hiku added a second in the other corner on the half-hour mark with Jamie Lyon kicking two goals.
Manly had looked comfortable in dealing with the Eels’ attack but, after halftime, that all changed as the home side blew away one of the best teams in the NRL.
The reborn Chris Sandow looked to have scored a try just after the restart when he scampered under the posts.
Although it was deemed to be good by the on-field officials, video referee Luke Patten overruled it for a very dubious obstruction call against David Gower.
The decision infuriated the home crowd but only served to galvanise their side who produced a dazzling 15-minute spell that produced three tries.
Jarryd Hayne, almost predictably, was the architect of the first with a brilliant run that teed up back-rower Kenny Edwards for the first four-pointer of his NRL career.
The second on the 53rd-minute was a moment of magic from winger Semi Radrardra who hauled in a Kieran Foran bomb, shook off three tackles and raced 95 metres to the line.
Sandow added the extras to level the scores before kicking a 40-20 — his sixth of the season — and from the resulting tap-kick, the ball was spread wide for Will Hopoate to score against his former club.
A shellshocked Manly struggled to get out of their own half for most of the second stanza as Parramatta laid siege to their line.
Vai Toutai iced a vital two points six minutes from time by putting the finishing touches to a sweeping move in the right corner.