Eels stun Broncos
Parramatta Eels have stunned the Brisbane Broncos 42-22 in their Round 21 clash at Suncorp Stadium on Monday night.by NRL
Parramatta Eels have stunned the Brisbane Broncos 42-22 in their Round 21 clash at Suncorp Stadium on Monday night.
After a grinding start, four tries in 11 minutes just before half time opened up a 30-6 lead at the break, with Parramatta holding off a Broncos second half surge to claim a very good win.
The Broncos started very well, creating pressure on the Eels line in the opening five minutes. They got three consecutive sets in attack, but good defence from Parramatta kept them at bay and eventually forced an error.
It was then the visitors turn to create the pressure and after Fuifui Moimoi was held up over the line and the Eels kept the Broncos inside their own 30m at the end of their set, Nathan Smith charged down Peter Wallace's last tackle kick, regathering it to score under the posts and set up a 6-0 lead after nine minutes.
The Eels continued to stay on top after Petero Civoniceva was penalised for being in front of the kicker from the kick-off, but with all the momentum and the bounce of the ball they couldn't covert again as the Broncos defence held firm.
The Broncos then worked their way back into their attacking zone, and Corey Norman was on the spot when Jake Mullaney spilled his grubber, regathering it to cross and level the scores at 6-6 after 20 minutes.
They looked to have gone in front in the 24th minute when Ben Te'o crossed from short distance, but it was called back from an obstruction, a play which proved to be a massive turning point. The Eels would go on to score four tries in 11 minutes on the back of that, riding a wave of momentum into the break.
Justin Poore grabbed the first in the 29th minute when he carried three Broncos over the line off a Nathan Hindmarsh offload, and that was quickly followed by Chris Sandow in the 34th minute when he used his pace to score off a good ball by Mullaney to establish an 18-6 lead.
They struck twice again through Ken Sio and then Mullaney before the break to lead a stunned Broncos 30-6 at half time.
If the Broncos were to mount a comeback in the second half they needed to start strongly and they were handed an opportunity by Ben Roberts when he spilled the kick-off. They took full advantage when Luke Capewell crossed off an out the back play by Corey Norman to narrow the margin to 30-12.
They went back-to-back in the 46th minute through Andrew McCullough, who darted from dummy half and fought out of a tackle and get across, bringing the score back to 30-18.
Despite a large amount of possession, the Eels were able to hold the Broncos out and they converted the first chance they had attacking the Broncos line in the second half, when some good hands by Joseph Paulo and Sandow put Moimoi into some space and over the line, extending their lead to 36-18 in the 60th minute.
Despite losing Peter Wallace with a head knock, the Broncos continued to compete and grabbed another try back in the 68th minute when Lachlan Maranta leaped above Ken Sio to snatch a Ben Hunt bomb and score, narrowing the margin to 36-22.
They continued to chance their hand in an attempt to get back in the game, with Hunt chipping and chasing for himself, with the ball spreading from left to right before Te'o was brought down agonisingly short of the line.
Nathan Smith looked to have secured the win for Parramatta in the 74th minute when he scooted from dummy half, but he lost control of the ball just short of the line, giving the Broncos an outside chance.
The Broncos threw everything at the Eels but couldn't come up with the try they needed, before Sandow made a break and ran 70m to score in the corner and wrap up a big victory.
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