The Eels are still in the hunt for the finals in the Jersey Flegg but they need to win out in their remaining 2 games in the regular season. That starts today as they host the competition leaders in the Sydney Roosters at Ringrose Park.
These teams met just a month ago where Parramatta pushed the Tri-colours all the way in a pulsating clash of the highest quality but the Eels will need to find a way to top that effort in order to keep their season alive.
While we wait to see which, if any, players back up from the NSW Cup last night as it stands the team will be without Richard Penisini, Joshua Lynn, Matt Arthur, Charlie Guymer and Sam Tuivaiti. It is a hefty blow to the playing stocks of the squad but there is still plenty of talent in the team named and more than enough reason to believe they can mix it with the Roosters today.
Jersey Flegg Team List
Roosters kicking off running south.
We’ve had about 15 minutes of play and unfortunately I’ve lost all of the blog to this point.
The Eels first try came off a good set completion and Nic Lenaz beating the defence with a ten metre dart from dummy half
(Again my apologies for the technical issue – clumsiness – which lost the match description from the first 15 minutes)
Eels 6 Roosters nil.
Parra have survived two sets in their red zone with terrific defence.
They work play downfield and a shift to the right creates an open passage from Ethyn Martin who crosses in the corner.
Eels 10 Roosters nil 15 gone.
Multiple set restarts from Parra and they’re back in the red zone. The Eels are ultra sharp in attack today. The ball goes right to Talagi and he delivers a beautiful inside ball to Loizou who crosses untouched.
Eels 16 Roosters nil 20 minutes gone
Eels commencing a set on their 30. They run a mix of edge and middle play and the kick finds an error from the Roosters fullback.
Unfortunately Lenaz and his runner get their wires crossed and the result is an offside play.
Six again called on a dominant tackle from Lenaz and it is followed by a Roosters penalty for offside. Now another penalty for a high shot. The flow is their way at the moment. Oh that is one outstanding defensive set from the Eels as Latu scoops up the kick and gets into the field of play. Great hit ups from Brazel and Mataele but the offload from Mataele is dropped by Talagi on halfway.
Damn, the Eels again defend spectacularly but the touchie has called an Eels hand knocking the ball down. Another red zone set for the tri-colours.
The defence again looks up to it but a quick play the ball and the Roosters have got through the ruck to score under the posts.
Eels 16 Roosters 6 three minutes left in the half
Oh that is an awful call.
The Roosters have thrown an errant pass and the ref has ruled it knocked down by Parra. There’s ten seconds left on the clock. A Roosters grubber has taken a deflection straight back to them. The pass is flung to the winger who crosses and improves the position as the siren sounds.
Half time Eels 16 Roosters 10
Superb set from Parra after Martin fields a Roosters clearing kick on the full. He bends the defence line from the tap and Parra jump on the back of it with quick play the balls that get them right to the goal mouth. A last tackle kick earns a line drop out.
Long drop out but Parra drive centrefield and they’re back in front of the posts following a nice offload from Talagi. Davis darts from dummy half and he’s over just to the right of the posts.
Sanders misses the conversion
Eels 20 Roosters 10 about five minutes gone
The teams trade sets and Parra get a penalty for a lifting tackle.
Parra are back in the red zone but a short ball from Sanders puts his runner under pressure and the ball goes down.
Loizou takes a nice catch off a shallow Roosters kick and offloads to Talagi and my goodness that’s an horrendous lifting tackle by theRoosters number 17. The officials are consulting and he’s been sent off! And wait for it, he’s sent Talagi to the bin too. WTF! And Talagi and the offender have just exchanged words on the sideline.
Brilliant footy from Parra! The ball goes left to Twidle. He centres play as he steps off his left foot, beating a string of Roosters players and as the defence grab him he gets a pearler of a pass to Sanders who dashes 10 metres to score beside the posts.
Conversion of his own try successful
Eels 26 Roosters 10 with 21 minutes remaining
The Roosters shift play to the left and as the ball hits the centre around halfway, Latu in the act of chasing is tripped over by a falling Rooster. The centre feigns a pass to the winger to commit Twidle then races away to score to the left of the posts. The conversion hits the flag on the top of the posts and bounces away.
Eels 26 Roosters 14 18 minutes remaining.
The Roosters make an error from the kick off. Eels scrum on the 20m line. And what a pass! Sanders throws a cut out to Komolafe who reaches above his head to pull it in then beats the defence in a spectacular dive to ground the ball in the corner.
Eels 32 Rooster 14 fourteen minutes remaining
A Roosters one on one strip gets them the ball on halfway. They work play into the quarter and force a line drop out. Parra’s kick goes out on the full.
The Roosters get six again late in the count and the Eels defend brilliantly. Oh no. The last tackle kick finds space behind the Eels line in the left corner and they beat Parra to the ball.
Ripper conversion from the sideline
Eels 32 Roosters 20 with 8 minutes remaining.
What a reply from our Eels! Apa fields a clearing kick in the ingoal then heads left. He links with Loizou who gets the ball back to him and the play stops near halfway. Good drive from Parra with Mataele getting the ball to ten out. It’s back left through Twidle to Loizou who surges to the line and gets the ball down.
Eels 36 Roosters 20. Four minutes remaining.
Good set after the try with the last tackle kick finding touch ten out from the Roosters line.
These Eels forwards have been so strong today. They set the platform for the win.
The Eels survive a last ditch play from the Roosters down their right wing and knock the ball dead as the siren sounds.
Full time Eels 36 Roosters 20
This was a tremendous win against the table topping team.
The forwards were instrumental in the win and deserved more individual mention during the call. Unfortunately my one finger typing is not conducive to a play by play call like Forty.
To that extent, Parker and Lenaz would feature heavily in best on field nominations with Mataele not far behind. In fact, so good were the forwards, that the old saying of “forwards win matches, backs determine by how much” was very applicable today (Thanks to Parrathruandthru for a reminder of that adage).
Pryke is a workhorse and Brazel and Tupou created issues on the edges. Twidle made some critical plays today in both attack and defence and I thought that Loizou had the best game that I’ve seen from him. Sanders and Talagi provided class, with their try assist passes a standout.
There was a trap and scrap from Twidle early in the match that was lost in this coverage due to a blogging glitch. The Rossters put in a chip kick. It took a deflection off an Eels hand and fell straight into the hands of the Roosters prop who was steaming through to chase the kick. Six again was called but the prop went all in and tried to kick the ball past Twidle. The fullback blocked it, regathered then set the Eels on the path to marching downfield.
The rest of the team should get a mention but suffice to say this was a classic team win.