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Eels Harold Matts continue perfect start

Eels Harold Matts continue perfect start (Photo : Eels Media)
Eels Harold Matts continue perfect start (Photo : Eels Media)

Eels Harold Matts continue perfect start

Author : Craig Hawkins & parraeels.com.au

Eels Harold Matts continue perfect start

The Eels’ four Junior Reps teams hit the road in Round 4, each facing the Illawarra Steelers at WIN Stadium on Saturday.

The Harold Matthews Cup side continued their perfect start to the season with a third victory, while the Lisa Fiaola Cup outfit posted their second successive victory.

The SG Ball team suffered their first defeat of the year against the ladder-leading Steelers, while the Tarsha Gale Cup girls lost to their undefeated opponents.

Million dollar Fish

Million dollar Fish

Harold Matthews Cup

Steelers 12 – 20 Eels

Play by Play

The Eels made it three from three by winning an enthralling physical contest against the Illawarra Steelers in Wollongong.

Coming off a Round 3 bye, Parramatta’s defence was outstanding and ultimately proved to be the difference between the teams.

Eels halves Lincoln Fletcher and Talen Risati were key to Parramatta’s win, involved in each of Parramatta’s 20 points.

The teams went set-for-set early but Illawarra were the first to score when the Eels fumbled a last-tackle grubber kick into the in-goal.

Parramatta did everything but score during the next 10 minutes, going perilously close on a couple of occasions.

Lincoln Fletcher eventually provided the Eels reply when he split the defence and found a rampaging Michael Nauer in support for the try.

With the scores locked at half-time, the next score promised to be crucial.

Enter Talen Risati. The Eels five-eighth firstly made a long break to take play into the Steelers’ quarter. A couple of tackles later his pass was knocked down by defenders and he was there to pick up the scraps and score.

A sin bin decision reduced the Eels to 12 men soon after, and Parramatta did exceptionally well to defend their line for an extended period.

The Steelers finally took advantage of the numbers to level the scores, setting up a grandstand finish with 15 minutes remaining.

Again the Eels defence rose to the occasion, before Risati did it all himself for his second try.

Receiving the ball to the right of the posts, he feigned to link with his supports then accelerated through the defence for a crucial try.

Lincoln Fletcher’s conversion made it a six-point game with time ticking away.

The Steelers weren’t finished, but the Eels repelled multiple sets on their line.

Finally, the match flared up late when Lincoln Fletcher was hit high in the last minute of play.

The Eels half calmly potted the subsequent penalty as the final siren was blown.

Parramatta will look to continue their perfect start to the season next week against the Bulldogs at Eric Tweedale Stadium.

Eels 20 (Tries: Talen Risati 2, Michael Nauer; Goals: Lincoln Fletcher 4) defeated Steelers 12.

SG Ball Cup

Steelers 30 points
Eels 16 points

Play by Play

Parramatta’s winning start to the SG Ball season came to an end in a top-of-the-table clash with Illawarra on Saturday.

Each side entered the match undefeated, and it proved to be a tight contest. The Steelers ultimately secured the result with a pair of late tries, however.

The Eels started on a positive note when Corey Leigh backed up a Jai Camilleri break to plant the ball between the posts.

Illawarra struck back 10 minutes later with a try scored close to the posts. They followed that with a second try just minutes later.

Tyrese Lokeni then had the Steelers defence all at sea with his first try. Receiving the ball on the left edge, the Eels second-rower stepped off his left foot and then his right, leaving the retreating defence unable to stop him.

Going into the second half just two points behind, the Eels would have drawn confidence from their second-half form of the first three rounds. Unfortunately, the Steelers were next to score following back-to-back Eels errors.

Parramatta needed to narrow the margin, and when Dylan Brettle’s pass sent Tyrese Lokeni charging through the line for his second try of the day, the stage was set for a thrilling finish.

Ultimately it would be the Steelers who would emerge victorious, capitalising on Eels errors to score two late tries.

The Eels will be aiming to return to the winners list when they meet the Bulldogs in Round 5.

Steelers 30 defeated Eels 16 (Tries: Tyrese Lokeni 2, Corey Leigh; Goals: Dominic Farrugia 2).

Lisa Fiaola Cup

Steelers 16
Eels 32

Play by Play

The Eels ended Illawarra’s undefeated start to the Lisa Fiaola Cup season in a ten-try barn burner on Saturday.

The try-fest victory, including a hat-trick by fullback Logan Lemusu, continued the Eels’ good form from their last-up win over the Sharks.

The Eels were first to score after six minutes via centre Fiafia Freedom Crichton Ropati. Illawarra then took the lead midway through the first half with a converted try.

It did not take long for Parramatta to strike back with five-eighth Jasmine Rorani crossing.

Tries to second rower Leyla Oueik and fullback Logan Lemusu followed and the Eels took a 12-point lead into half-time.

Logan Lemusu grabbed her second try of the day just five minutes into the second half before the Steelers posted a try of their own ten minutes later.

Another Illawarra score narrowed the margin to eight points as the match tightened up.

Logan Lemusu wrapped up the game for the Eels with a try to complete her hat trick and halfback Sharon Latapu put the icing on the cake crossing for one of her own in the final minutes.

The Eels will be looking to continue their climb up the ladder when they play the Dragons next week at Eric Tweedale Stadium.

Eels 32 – 16 Steelers

Tarsha Gale CupSteelers 38 – 0 Eels

Team Stats

The Eels paid the penalty for unforced errors as they fell to the undefeated Steelers in Wollongong.

In contrast, the Illawarra side took full advantage of the possession and territory which came their way, crossing for seven tries in a dominant victory.

Handling mistakes and costly penalties prevented the Eels from mounting any pressure on the Illawarra defence.

After conceding four first-half tries, the Eels trailed by 20 at the break. The Steelers went on with the job in the second stanza, adding 18 points to their tally.

Set completions will be a priority when the Eels return to Eric Tweedale Stadium next week to face the Dragons.

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