The Parramatta Eels have kept their season alive, after a hard-fought 21-14 victory over the Brisbane Broncos at Parramatta Stadium this afternoon. The Broncos tumble out of the top eight after their fourth successive loss and coach Ivan Henjak will be looking for a way of revitalising his team before their season slips away.
Both sides started the game strongly, with the Eels having their fair share of possession and field position in the opening 20 minutes. The Broncos at-times-brittle defence of recent weeks was holding until the 22nd minute when Parramatta centre Joel Reddy sent a perfect one-handed offload to Eric Grothe who raced away to dive over in the corner.
The Eels extended their lead a few minutes later when Joel Reddy scored a try for himself as the Broncos brittle defence was starting to show signs of breaking. In the shadows of halftime, the Broncos opened their account through centre Steve Michaels after a clever run-around engineered by halfback Peter Wallace created a gap in the Parramatta defence. Corey Parker, like Luke Burt, missed with his conversion attempt to have the side's heading to the break at 8-4.
The second half started much the same as the first half, with the Eels enjoying more possession and field position, but lacking a finishing touch to put the Broncos to the sword. In the 47th minute, the Broncos appeared certain to draw level when five-eighth Darren Lockyer had created an overlap on the Parramatta left hand side. Unfortunately for the Broncos, Lockyer's bullet cut-out pass was snatched out of the air by Krisnan Inu who raced 90 metres to extend the Eels lead to ten.
But, as the Broncos always seem to do, they hit back through Andrew McCullough who dived over from dummy half after Fuifui Moimoi knocked on in the previous set. The Broncos finally drew level with 15 minutes left on the clock when Steve Michaels scored his second try of the afternoon to lock the scores at 14-all.
Both sides stayed deadlocked for the next 13 minutes until Luke Burt's 42-metre field goal put the Eels in front for good, before five-eight Daniel Mortimer put the icing on the cake, with a superb show-and-go, diving over under the posts.
For the Eels, Jarryd Hayne, Luke Burt and Mortimer were their best, while for the Broncos, Karmichael Hunt kept his side in the game.
Parramatta face the Panthers in the traditional western-Sydney derby at CUA next Sunday, while the Broncos return home to tackle the Warriors on Friday night in a match they simply must win.
Match Details Parramatta Eels 21 def Brisbane Broncos 14 Round 16 - Sunday June 28th, 2009 03:00pm Venue: Parramatta Stadium Referee: Tony Archer & Matt Cecchin Sideline Officials: Paul Holland & Adam Devcich Video Referee: Paul Simpkins Crowd: 10,030 Halftime: Eels 8 Broncos 4
Parramatta Eels 21 Tries: Eric Grothe, Joel Reddy, Krisnan Inu, Daniel Mortimer Field Goals: Luke Burt (1/1) Goals: Luke Burt (2/4) Brisbane Broncos 14 Tries: Steve Michaels (2), Andrew McCullough Field Goals: Darren Lockyer (0/1) Goals: Corey Parker (1/3)
LeagueUnlimited.com Live Commentary Talk about the game as it happens - Eels v Broncos forum discussion - click here!
Welcome to Parramatta Stadium for this afternoon's round 16 encounter between the hot and cold Eels and the completely out-of-sorts Broncos. Which Parramatta side turns up today remains to be seen, while the Broncos will slip out of the top eight if they suffer another loss. It promises to be a beauty.
Parramatta coach Daniel Anderson has pulled a late swifty with Fuifui Moimoi reverting back to the bench and Tim Mannah coming into the run-on side. The Broncos have suffered a slight reshuffle to the side originally named by coach Ivan Henjak on Tuesday. Israel Folau and PJ Marsh are out, forcing Alex Glenn into the centres, Dale Copley onto the wing and Andrew McCullough into the run-on side at hooker. Dave Taylor will fill the remaining spot on the bench.
EELS: 1. Jarryd Hayne 2. Luke Burt 3. Joel Reddy 4. Krisnan Inu 5. Eric Grothe 6. Daniel Mortimer 7. Jeff Robson 8. Nathan Cayless (c) 9. Matthew Keating 16. Tim Mannah 11. Nathan Hindmarsh 12. Joe Galuvao 13. Todd Lowrie Interchange: 10. Fuifui Moimoi 14. Kevin Kingston 17. Jeremy Latimore 19. Broderick Wright
BRONCOS: 1. Karmichael Hunt 2. Antonio Winterstein 3. Steve Michaels 5. Alex Glenn 22. Dale Copley 6. Darren Lockyer 7. Peter Wallace 8. Nick Kenny 14. Andrew McCullough 10. Joel Clinton 11. Josh McGuire 12. Sam Thaiday 13. Corey Parker Interchange: 15. Ashton Sims 16. Aaron Gorrell 17. Guy Williams 18. Dave Taylor
Toyota Cup: Brisbane 30 def Parramatta 28
Kick off is expected a few minutes after 3pm. Stay tuned.
KICK-OFF: Darren Lockyer puts boot to ball and Parramatta will have first use of the ball, defending the northern end of Parramatta Stadium.
4 min: Knock on Brisbane - Andrew McCullough attempts an intercept 45m out from his own line. Parramatta on the attack.
5 min: PENALTY Parramatta - Robson finds touch 10m out from Brisbane line.
6 min: Mortimer's deft kick into the in-goal dribbles over the dead-ball line. Broncos breathe a sigh of relief and work the ball off their own 20m line.
8 min: Parramatta have had all the ball and the Broncos are only just hanging on. An unusually slippery surface is wreaking havoc with many Brisbane players slipping over.
11 min: Nick Kenny getting some attention and being helped from the field. It looks as though his right leg buckled underneath the weight of the tackle from Nathan Hindmarsh.
12 min: Matthew Keating's attempted 40/20 sails out on the full. Brisbane with some rare field position and their first attacking play of the game.
13 min: PENALTY Parramatta. Ball stolen in a two-man tackle. Parramatta moving the ball away from their own goal-line.
14 min: PENALTY Brisbane. The Broncos seem like they've been defending all game, but are somehow still level. Karmichael Hunt limping in back play.
16 min: Broncos dribble the ball into the in-goal and get their first repeat set of the game.
21 min: Halfway through the first half and both teams haven't played the best football. Parramatta have had most of the ball, but have done nothing with it. Brisbane appear to be struggling.
22 min: TRY Parramatta Eels Joel Reddy's one-handed offload sends Grothe on his way, scoring in the corner. Great lead-up play by the Eels. Conversion attempt by Luke Burt unsuccessful. Parramatta Eels 4-0
24 min: TRY Parramatta Eels The Eels are in again! Joel Reddy and Eric Grothe are causing all sorts of problems for the Broncos defence. The Broncos are in trouble. Conversion attempt by Luke Burt unsuccessful. Parramatta Eels 8-0
29 min: Another goal-line dropout forced by the Broncos. Brisbane need to score soon to give themselves a confidence boost.
32 min: TRY Brisbane Broncos The Broncos are back in it. Second-man play constructed by Peter Wallace may have been worth a look, but the referee had no hesitation in pointing to the spot. Conversion attempt by Corey Parker unsuccessful. Parramatta Eels 8-4
38 min: Line drop-out Brisbane. Robson receives a flick pass from Jarryd Hayne and weaves a perfectly weighted grubber into the in-goal.
The Eels go to the break leading 8-4 in a game that has had its entertaining moments. The Eels would be slightly disappointed they are not in front by more, after having a lions share of possession in the first 20 minutes. Jarryd Hayne has continued his State of Origin form, while Darren Lockyer and the Broncos are not the well-oiled machine we are used to. An intriguing second half awaits.
40 min: Luke Burt gets the second half underway. The first 10 minutes of the second half could well determine the outcome of the game.
44 min: PENALTY Brisbane.
47 min: TRY Parramatta Eels Krisnan Inu snatches a pass out of the air and races away downfield. Lockyer threw a cut-out pass that Inu needed to take, otherwise the Broncos would have scored in the corner. Conversion attempt by Luke Burt successful. Parramatta Eels 14-4
52 min: Darren Lockyer knocks on. The Lockyer we all know is struggling today. Lockyer pleads his innocence, but the referees put down a scrum.
55 min: Josh Maguire from the Broncos nearly scores! Jarryd Hayne's casualness hasn't quite backfired, but it could have. The slightest of knock-ons prevents the Broncos from taking the lead.
59 min: Line dropout Brisbane - The Eels could put the Broncos away if they score here.
60 min: The Eels keep making basic errors and are keeping the Broncos in the game.
64 min: TRY Brisbane Broncos Michaels scores an inch in from the deadball line! Puts the ball down eventually, after running onto a perfect pass from Karmichael Hunt who is single-handedly keeping Brisbane in the game. Conversion attempt by Corey Parker unsuccessful. 14 all
65 min: Somehow the Broncos are level, after playing nowhere near as well as Parramatta who keep inviting the Broncos back into the game.
67 min: Parramatta unlucky to not be awarded a penalty, after appearing to have had the ball stripped in a two-man tackle.
67 min: Taylor drops the ball in the play-the-ball. Perhaps a bit of justice.
69 min: Brisbane are just hanging on and are perhaps being allowed some latitude in defence.
71 min: Moimoi goes straight through! He should have passed to Mortimer, who would have scored. Brisbane continue to hang on.
75 min: Both teams must surely be contemplating field goal.
76 min: ATTEMPTED FIELD GOAL Brisbane Broncos Lockyer's attempt at breaking the deadlock dribbles over the deadball line. It never got more than a metre off the ground. 14 all