2022 gets its first official action today with the Junior Representatives launching their campaigns with a trio of matches against the Sydney Roosters in the Harold Matthews, SG Ball and Tarsha Gale. Unfortunately, due to scheduling we won’t have a triple header of coverage to start the season and will have to settle for the Matts/Gale double-header out of Mascot.
The Harold Matthews get the massive day of footy started with kickoff at 10:00AM with the Tarsha Gale to follow at 11:30AM. Catch all the blow-by-blow action right here on TCT!
1. Mohammad Alameddine
2. Luke Maroun
3. Michael Gabreal
4. Junior Fagalele
5. Richard Penisini
6. Blaize Talagi
7. Lorenzo Talataina
8. Sam Tuivati
9. Matt Arthur
10. Jordan Uta
11. Jezaiah Funa-Luta
12. Jordan Faleono
13. Sebastian Piukala
14. Lachlan Coinakis
15. Charbel Chehade
16. Joshua Bridgett
17. Movete Ota’Ota
18. Dylan Brettle
It is still half an hour ahead of kickoff but gee there is some inclement weather at play here! I left the Inner West practically bathing in sunshine and arrived in Mascot to dark clouds and downpours. It is obviously going to be a factor today and in a grade where possession and completion rates are already king, their importance practically doubles.
Blaize Talagi leads his team out on to the park as the Eels set up to kick off in the first game of the year.
Alameddine gets us underway as he drives the ball deep. The Roosters play down their left edge short side through the early tackles before eventually centreing the ball but a costly late penalty gifts them a repeat possession. They find touch 10m short of halfway and get back to work as they build from left to right before a thundering shot from Parramatta’s left centre Michael Gabreal stops the shift dead in its tracks.
The Roosters play to the conditions as they roll a kick in on the last and the greasy ball proves too difficult to bring in cleanly for Richard Penisini who knocks it on just shy the goal line. Three consecutive sets is close to the dream start for the home team but they cement that status by finally converting the glut of possession into points as their dummy half Jaxson Allen cashes in on a quick play the ball to dive over under the posts.
Try scored by Jaxson Allen. Conversion successful by Lachlan Dooner.
Roosters lead 6-0
Better defence from the Eels now as they force the Roosters to clear the ball from behind halfway. Alameddine takes a clean catch and makes solid return metres before a crafty run from young Matthew Arthur earns big metres and a penalty. The immediate tap and go sees the Eels surge to the goal line and earn a second penalty where there must surely be thoughts of a sin bin but the officialopts to keep it even. Pristine ball movement firstly to the right edge and then to the left sets up a training run try for Gabreal. Quality response from the Blue & Gold!
Try scored by Michael Gabreal. Conversion unsuccessful by Mohamed Alameddine.
Eels trail 4-6
Completing the set immediately after points is always core messaging in this great game but unfortunately big Sam Tuivati has come up with an unforced error from the kickoff possession. Big chance for the Roosters now to reclaim momentum in this contest. Thankfully a rather ambitious attempt to score down the Eels’ right edge produces one of the most blatant and textbook examples of a double movement you will ever see!
In fact the entire subsequent passage of play is pure and unadulterated chaos as the Eels fail to find touch from the penalty only to see the Roosters turn the ball over in the first resulting tackle.
Parramatta go on to earn a penalty two tackles later for a flop and take play into the Roosters’ half. Parramatta continue to show how dangerous they can be with the ball in hand with some lovely hands that release Funa-Luta. The backrower storms into the redzone and sets the visitors up for a big set. A pass in the next play catches a hand of the defender for a fresh set to the Eels but the greasy ball produces another unforced error early in the repeat posssession.
A penalty for a late-hit on the Roosters halfway as he drives a kick downfield completely flips possession and territory and gives the home team another free shot at the goal line.
Parramatta need a big play and fittingly it is Talagi who provides it with a heads-up one-on-one strip! Tremendous situational football IQ there as he steals the possession and the Eels then earn a penalty for a high shot!
Positive set here from the Blue & Gold as they drive the ball down their right edge. Some neat second phase ball opens up half gaps before a batted ball resets the tackle count. Arthur shows his craftiness near the goal lines to nearly put one of his forwards over before the Eels go back to the well down their left edge. They use hands to post Gabreal and Penisini up in a 2-on-2 spot but the defenders fare much better this time around as they drag Gabreal down short of the line and jolt the ball loose.
Oh gee that is a bad mistake! Old school shepherd from the Roosters! The Eels gesticulate wildly at the referee for the call and it comes!
Talagi digs into the line for a strong carry and features two tackles later with a lovely outside-inside play to Movete Oto’ota and again there is a batted pass from the Roosters that sees the Eels get the repeat possession. A rapid shift from the scrum sees Parra nearly cross on the first tackle before halfback Lorenzo Talataina dances over only to somehow lose the ball in his ground attempt through a tackle!
The madness continues through the next two sets as the Roosters cough the ball from from the tap restart only to have the Eels return the favour and let them off the hook. Definitely feels like whoever settles down first and works through their sets will blow this game open.
Oh gee they needed that! Talataina turns a potential half break into a turnover with a well placed shoulder! He knocks the ball out of the tri-colours backrower. Faleono provides a strong carry to start the set but the Eels are forced to bomb from midfield due to resilient defence from the Roosters.
Talagi provides the up and under but the kick takes a deflecton from a charge down attempt. Talagi perserves and chases the ball, which still got plenty of hang time, and not only claims it but gets back up and runs a further 20m into the redzone. Confusion now though as despite the referee clearly indificating 6-again for the touch, he is now enforcing a turnover on tackles? Shades of the 2019 NRL Grand Final there as a bizarre live reversal of a call has a big impact on this contest.
Speaking of charge downs, Talataina produces a great one of his own to put the Eels back on the attack but again, as with most of this game, Parramatta prove their own worst enemy in the redzone as they fail to complete the set.
In spite of that, the tri-colours gift them one last chance to score before half time with another penalty while in possession and they finally convert! That was an incorrect play the ball and gee it is going to haunt the home team.
Talataina has been in the thick of the action in the second quarter of play and he is the man who provides early service to Gabreal from halfway. The blockbusting centre surges down the tram tracks and finds his flanker in Penisini who does the rest to put the Eels on top as the siren rings out!
Try scored by Richard Penisini. Conversion successful by Mohamed Alameddine.
Eels lead 10-6
Parramatta Eels 10 lead the Sydney Roosters 6
Parramatta to receive the ball from the second half kickoff and my goodness they have turned it over from the reception. Forward pass the call I believe and that is a certified coach killer.
The line drop out comes but Ethan Roberts provides the Roosters with a cracking opening hit up. The tri-colours say thank you very much as they convert the chance into points with a well executed right edge shift. Parra are stripped for numbers down the left and surrender the lead as a result.
Try scored by Grayson Reimer. Conversion unsuccessful by Lachlan Dooner.
Roosters lock the scores up at 10-all
Another glut of possession goes the way of the Roosters and Parramatta simply can’t hold on here. Terrible start to the second half from the visiting team while the tri-colours have found a gear perhaps in large due to the chances handed to them by the Eels.
Thier #11, Ethan Roberts, continues to be a handful and is rewarded with a try as he storms over down Parramatta’s right edge.
Try scored by Ethan Roberts. Conversion successul by Lachlan Dooner.
Roosters lead 16-10
The home team are the onces to produce the next error as an inside pass is dropped on halfway. Parramatta finally streamline the game plan and rumble it through the ruck to great effect. They roll down to the goal line and earn back-to-back penalties. Tuivati steams into the line before Athur has a crack from short range. Talagi floats the ball out to Alameddine down the left edge but when the ball comes back to Sam Tuivati to centre it but the big man drops it over the line. Is that the third time today the Eels have done that exact thing? Brutally costly errors.
Gee it is almost self-flagellation at this point. Right after Junior Fagalele kickstarts their next possession with a testing carry the Eels turn it over on the second. The turnover is compounded by a penalty for a highshot a play later.
Sloppiness is creeping into the ruck defence now too as a slew of quick play the ball allow Jaxson Allen to secure his double from 10m out. Had all the time and space in the world there with the Parramatta ruck defence caught slipping and he makes them pay full freight.
Try scored by Jaxson Allen. Conversion successful by Lachlan Dooner.
Roosters lead 22-10
Suffocating play from the Roosters now. They taste blood in the water and put together a flawless set after points that pins Parramatta on their goal line. They follow it up with 6 punishing tackles driven by superb line-speed that nets them a full set in Parramatta’s half. Amazingly it is the home team that blinks first just when it seemed that a had try building for all money on their next play as a simple pass is grassed. Huge let off that keeps an outside shot at a draw alive.
Powerful run from Gabreal! nearly busts the game wide open as he drags defenders downfield. Parramatta switch to their right as Alameddine tries to create the overlap but the Roosters mark up well. Arthur takes on the line in fron of the posts but his pass is knocked up by a defender for a repeat possession for the Eels. A second batted ball frustratingly eats in the clock in the next set and altohugh the Eels have the ball there is just 5min on the clock.
Gorgeous pass from Talagi there. Right out in front on a looping Alameddine who plucks it out of the air and does a great job himself to lay it up for Luke Maroun in the corner. As difficult an attempt as you could give to Alameddine to keep the chance for a draw alive and he narrowly drives it left of the uprights.
Try scored by Luke Maroun. Conversion unsuccessful by Mohammed Alameddine.
Eels trail 14-22
Despite several opportunities to set up a chance to score another try and potentially set up a game-winning third score the Eels continue to be their own worst enemies as the unforced errors flow. Gabreal and Talagi both go perilously close to scoring in the final moments of the game but both fall short – even though it was utlimately academic.
Sydney Roosters 22 def. the Parramatta Eels 14
2. Ameena Kanj
3. Jacinta Tui
4. Petesa Lio
5. Alysha Bell
6. Tallara Bamblett
7. Katalina Vave
8. Petalina Atoa
9. Ashlee Pottinger
10. Ruby-Jean Kennard
11. Tahleisha Maeva
12. Kyanna Lokeni
13. Summah Terare
14. Kasey Quye
17. Emily Waters
18. Quin McVey
21. Holly Chapman
23. Ellah Hughes
Positive start to this match for both teams following the kickoff from the Eels. Good runs, strong hits and completed sets provided by both the home and away teams. The Roosters get the first real crack at a goal line in their third possession but resolute defence from Parramatta bundles the attacker into touch down Parra’s right edge.
Tahleisha Pugh and Summah Terare do some quality ruck work in return and it provides the catalyst for a strong set that is completed with a driving kick that pins the home team near their goal line. Alas, ill-discipline in defence lets them off the hook with the tri-colours finding touch on half way for the resumption of play.
That piggy back proves to be important for the opening points as their dummy half shows some good vision to read the mismatched goal line defence of the Eels and cross for the opening points.
Try scored by Ally Bullman. Conversion unsuccesful by Ally Bullman.
Roosters lead 4-0
Goodness that is aquality work from Petalina Atoa. The prop forward bursts through the ruck and throws a cracking offload to support to put the Eels firmly on the attack. They have two tackles up their sleeves as they get to the Roosters’ goal line and play down their left both times but the speed of play is a gear short of what is needed and the Roosters hold on.
Concerning signs in return as the Roosters find space in behind Parramatta’s ruck defence. The Blue & Gold hold on and force the 5th tackle kick where Debbie Doueihi does sensationally well to reel in a truly wicked bounce only to then undo it all with a sloppy play the ball.
Huge chance for the Roosters with a free full set on Parramatta’s goal line but the girls find plenty of ticker as they dig deep and hold out for the full set! A must have goal line stand there and they delivered.
A busy carry from Kyanna Lokeni gives space for Tallara Bamblett to attack and the five-eighth shows both guile and zip as she nearly slices through the defensive line. She does however earn a penalty for a massive 6-again.
Bamblett is prominent again in the next set as she engineers the first try of the season for Alysha Bell with a perfectly executed shallow grubber to the right sideline! Bell picks up the rolling pill with aplomb and steps past her scrambling opponent to plant it down!
Try scored by Alysha Bell. Conversion successful by Alysha Bell.
Eels lead 6-4
A cheap penalty for the Eels carries them into the Roosters’ half. Terarea and Bamblett involved again in the good stuff and it looks like Lei-Lani Tua subbed on for a strong charge as well. The Roosters hold out, doing well honestly in the process, and counter punch down their right edge. They threaten to open up that side via their backrower Leilani Wilson but hustle from the cover defenders helps force the error following an offload.
Parramatta are certainly asking questions of the home team today. Thet sortie into the Roosters’ redzone on the back of the left edge of the Blue & Gold but an error from Jacinta Tui late in the tackle count brings an end to the raid.
A loose tackle from the Eels results in a penalty for a high shot in the next set which puts the Roosters in position to build to an attacking kick but before they get so far they knock the ball on taking on the sideline down Parra’s left edge. Was a semi-free release for their right winger Caitlin Hollis but the Eels’ cover defence was closing in rapidly.
Something of a breakdown in the game now with a run of errors from both teams. The Eels are pinged for a forward pass from dummy half with just over 4min left on the clock but the Roosters hit back with an errant pass of their own.
Parramatta find their right gear in the next set with some tough ruck work setting up an attacking bomb from Bamblett. She finds range nicely but the Roosters are equal to the task with a cracking defusal from Charlize Lloyd-Phillips. Strong footy from both teams there.
It is the Blue & Gold that will get the right to ask one final question before half time following a strong defensive stand that forces a turnover short of half way.
Doueihi chimes in beautfifully from fullback to put Petesa Lio into space. The right centre flies down the tram tracks and it looked like she tried to kick back infield to support but a swarm of cover defenders clean it up. Again, exciting play from both teams.
The half runs out with the Eels back in possession, carting the ball up over the centrepoint of the field. That was a very entertaining opening 30min to the season for both squads!
Parramatta Eels 6 lead the Sydney Roosters 4
The home team are set to kick off the Eels in the second half. Strong start! Good carries from Pottinger and Lokeni drive the Eels over halfway before some bad luck for Lei-Lani Tua undoes the set. She popped the ball up in her carry and might have just pulled it in before it got to a defender but it was line ball and the referee calls the 50/50 against her.
Another high shot penalty against the Eels puts the Roosters on the attack. Good ball movement from the tri-colours is met with strong scramvling from the Eels and they continue to pour in for support through the set to force a turnover on tackles! Love the determination.
My goodness it is thundering down at Mascot now. Can barely hear yourself think under the corrugated iron roofing in the stands but just as quickly as it started it has passed through. Lasted the best part of two sets.
Our girls have held on in the mean time and earned a penalty on their goal line for offside defenders. Tap and go for the Eels here but they channel the Harold Matthews in the wrong way here as they cough it up immediately. A terrific angled run from #11 Otesa Pule for the Roosters nearly blows the game open but once again the cover defenders swarm in and a knock on in the following play gives the Eels the opportunity to work out from their own end.
It almost feels like a break of luck falls Parramatta’s way following that gutsy defence when they recover a charge down from the Roosters at the end of this set but they give it right back to the home team.
Aneeka Reilly shows some buttery smmoth acceleration for the tri-colours to split the Eels open but the ball is nearly intercepted by a Parra cover defender only for it to be dropped for a fresh set. That one comes back to haunt the Eels as the home team finally cash in on the weight of possession and territory to start the second half.
Ultimately the Roosters are able to crash over to the left of the posts and resecure the lead.
Try scored by Otesa Pule . Conversion successful by Aneeka Reilly.
Roosters lead 10-6
Momentum with the Roosters now as they put the blowtorch on Parramatta’s run of errors. Thankfully they somehow hold on, resilience has certainly been a calling card today, and get the chance to fight to halfway before frustratingly conceding another error.
Tayla Montgomery tests the goal line defence of the Blue & Gold as she beats serveral defenders before losing the ball as the supporting defenders arrive.
Parramatta launch a blistering counter attack down their right edge as a string of perfect offloads knock the defence onto the backfoot but Bamblett, one of Parra’s best today, grasses the final pass before a potential line break.
Just like that the game gets taken away from the Eels as the Roosters’ fullback Maddie Binding shows some blistering speed to scream down the right sideline and torch the left edge of the Eels. That is a heck of an individual effort there and it puts the Roosters a firm step towards victory.
Try scored by Maddie Binding. Conversion successful by Aneeka Reilly.
Roosters lead 16-6
Always play to the whistle ladies and gents! The Roosters drop the ball on halfway and seem content to let it lie there for a scrum but Ameena Kanj has other ideas as she scoops it up and flies downfield to score. Play isn’t coming back and the chasers aren’t catching her! Well done! She has kept the Eels in this.
Try scored by Ameena Kanj. Conversion unsuccessful by Alysha Bell.
Eels trail 10-16
Cheese and crackers. An error off the kickoff has probably usurped any chance of securing a draw for our girls and those odds evaporate into the aether as the home team bulldozes over from short range to put the result beyond doubt.
Try scored by Otesa Pule. Conversion successful by Aneeka Reilly.
Roosters lead 22-10
Sydney Roosters Indigenous Academy 22 def. the Parramatta Eels 10
SG Ball Squad
2. Junior Wright
3. Declan Murray
4. Charlie Guymer
5. Suliasi Aho
6. Riley Lack
7. Ethan Sanders
8. Lance Fualema
9. Yehya Ayache
10. Larry Muagututia
11. Saxon Pryke
12. Dom Destradis
13. Nick Lenaz
14. Josh Alhazim
15. Markis Atoa
16. Mark Simon
17. Raff Destradis
18. Daniel Reardon
Score Updates Service
The early part of this match has again been marked by errors from both teams.
The Eels playing with more pace. Try to Sanders off a grubber kick. Unconverted.
Eels 4 Rooster 0 after 13 minutes
Try to Moriarty from the Roosters. Converted.
Roosters 6 Eels 4 18 minutes gone
Try to Eels fullback Arthur Miller Stephen. Conversion missed
Eels 8 Roosters 6. 28 minutes gone.
Half time. Scores unchanged.
Ten minutes into the second half. Still no change to the score.
Moriarty scores his second try for the Roosters. It’s unconverted.
Roosters lead 10-8 with 5 minutes to go.
Abdow now crosses for an unconverted try to put the Roosters 6 points ahead
Roosters 14 lead Eels 8. 3 minutes to go.
Full time – Roosters win 14-8.
The Eels missed too many opportunities whereas the Roosters aced their three chances.
Unfortunately that’s 0 from 3 for this opening round, as the Eels pay the price for errors.