After a hugely successful raid of the Northern Beaches on Friday night, the Parramatta Eels look to round out Round 21 with a win over the Blacktown Workers Sea Eagles. With the Top 4 still very much in play for the Blue & Gold, a solid victory today would mount plenty of pressure on the North Sydney Bears who sit one spot above the Eels on the ladder in 4th place.
Parra will have to roll up their sleeves this week mind you with a number of core players out. Jake Arthur, who starred in the NRL this week, is obviously not backing up into the Cup today while Captain-Coach Jordan Rankin is also out this week after picking up a lower leg injury against the Panthers. Furthermore, Tevita Taumoepenu turned out in the Flegg on Friday night which leaves the Eels a player short as it stands.
One potential significant inclusion could be that of Bryce Cartwright with the backrower only playing 10-minutes of NRL action this week. His return would likely see him start on the left edge and bump young prospect Toni Mataele back to the interchange.
As noted before though, without the leadership of Arthur and Rankin it falls upon the likes of Hayze Perham, Brendan Hands and Mitch Rein to step up and steer the team to victory. Thankfully they will be playing behind a well stocked forward pack and that should hopefully be enough today.
NSW Cup Team List
1. Hayze Perham
2. Solomone Naiduki
3. Zac Cini
4. Samuel Loizou
5. Sean Russell
6. Jack A Williams
7. Brendan Hands
8. Ofahiki Ogden
9. Mitch Rein
18 Makahesi Makatoa
11. Elie El-Zakhem
12. Toni Mataele
13. Ky Rodwell
10 Wiremu Greig
14. Jayden Yates (18th man)
15. Tevita Taumoepenu
19 Bryce Cartwright
17. Dan Keir
The Eels kick off and have the better of early play after a penalty in their first set. They are asking questions in the Sea Eagles red zone and Mataele goes close but loses the ball when grounding it.
The Sea Eagles advance the ball down to the Eels quarter. They look dangerous but terrific goal line defence from the Eels holds out repeat sets. Mataele features with a try saving hit.
Eels march downfield after getting possession and Rodwell is through the line off a pass from Makatoa. He finds Rein in support but the hooker is dragged down two metres out and loses the ball
Eels get a penalty on their quarter but fail to find touch. This means the Sea Eagles get the ball in Parra’s half as a result. A couple of plays later their half steps the Eels defence to score next to the posts.
Conversion successful Manly 6 Eels 0 12 gone
The Eels kick off forces an in goal error and the Sea Eagles attempt a short drop out. An error gives the scrum to Parra and they’re attacking in the red zone. A shift left finds a charging Sam Loizou who won’t be denied .
The conversion out wide by Perham is successful
6 all. About 16 minutes gone
Side note – Makahesi has started this game and Carty is about to enter the play after just over 20 minutes.
The game has got a bit scrappy over the last ten minutes and the Eels are guilty of giving away penalties and set restarts.
Penalties and restarts have become absurd. Another penalty is blown and El Zakhem has been binned after the Sea Eagles dropped an attacking kick. There’s about 7 minutes left in the half and the Sea Eagles have opted for the tap.
Amazing! The Eels have repelled about 6 sets and Manly have turned it over. 5 minutes left in the half
Another miracle – the Eels have just earned a penalty! Another miracle now – Carty throws an intercept and the Sea Eagles are away but called back for being offside. Spoke too soon – Loizou looks to have planted the ball for a try but the ref has called lost ball.
The Sea Eagles work play downfield and chase a well placed kick. Perham defuses it and it’s half time.
Half time – Eels 6 Workers Sea Eagles 6
That’s a nasty lifting tackle on Sean Russell as he hits it up on the Eels quarter. The Manly player is sent to the bin just as El Zakhem returns!
Parra look like they’ve got the sea eagles for numbers but Hands almost runs a shepherd. A good kick from Carty created confusion in the in goal but it avoids all feet and hands and rolls dead
This is a really poorly officiated game. Some of the calls or lack of calls are baffling! Even though the Eels have finally had a couple of calls finally go their way, they must be very frustrated out there.
Finally Parra get a roll on and Hands digs deep into the line. Beautiful deception however as he sells the pass but goes through the line then finds Perham in support as he draws the fullback. Perham is in under the posts.
Eels 12 Sea Eagles 6, 11 minutes gone second half
What a run from Cini! From a standing start in his own 40 he beats defender after defender in a blind side run to the Sea Eagles quarter. Where was the support? It all comes to nothing a couple of tackles later as the Eels knock on.
Geez this ref can find an Eels infraction in the ruck! Another penalty to the Sea Eagles has them pressing the Eels line but the defence is too strong. Parra soon turn that defence into attack with a sequence of offloads that gets Naiduki into space. He’s dragged down about 15 out but Parra catch Manly short on the blind as Loizou gets over in the corner. Did he drop it? Ref calls it good even though I had more faith in Loizou’s earlier disallowed try.
Eels 16 Sea Eagles 6, 20 minutes gone second half.
Manly are offside with the kick off. Parra get the penalty and are soon in the quarter. They work back to The Sea Eagles right again and Rein takes a dummy half dart to the corner and plants it.
Conversion unsuccessful again
Eels 20 Sea Eagles 6 22 minutes gone.
The Eels break the line after the kick off as they hit the Sea Eagles right side yet again. A forward pass is called but now a skirmish has erupted. It looks like punches have been thrown. And the Sea Eagles winger has been sent off!!!
Parra head to the same well again and they drink deeply as Naiduki is given a saloon passage to the line! Try time.
Eels 24 Sea Eagles 6 13 minutes remaining
I can’t say that the Sea Eagles haven’t had a crack. Their half back caps a decent individual game with a chip chase for a fine try.
Eels 24 Sea Eagles 12 3 minutes remaining
Another ruck penalty to The Sea Eagles but they drop the ball when attacking the line. With 20 seconds remaining Rein splits the defence on his side of half way and gallops 40 metres to the Sea Eagles quarter where he links with Cini who’s run support back on the inside and he in turn passes it inside again to Russell who scores next to the posts.
Eels 30 Sea Eagles 12