The Parramatta Eels have outplayed the Newcastle Knights in every facet of the game this afternoon at Parramatta Stadium, Jarryd Hayne and Fuifui Moimoi instrumental in their 40-8 victory in front of 17,669 home fans.
Newcastle's start surprised many who had predicted an Eels win, some great link-up from Jarrod Mullen to his veteran forward Steve Simpson providing the Knights first points. The Eels equalised not long after before a penalty goal put the Knights back in front, much of the first quarter of the game a back-and-forward tussle. The Eels then broke loose, playing some exciting attacking football and capitalising on some poor hustle from the Knights backs to pile on two further tries before halftime, with an added penalty goal right on the siren giving them a 14-point lead at the break.
The start to the second half was much different to the end of the first, the Eels forced to repeatedly defend their line. The Knights found the Parramatta right side quite soft and numerous raids down there bought them close to the line but it was all to no avail as errors and poor fifth tackle options cost them points time and time again.
Fifteen minutes into the second half the Eels finally found themselves with some football in attacking territory and it was from there they began piling on the points. Twenty unanswered points coming from three tries and penalty goal made the win look easy for the Eels, Luke Burt in particular looked good, with a total 24-point haul for the afternoon through two tries and eight goals - and a perfect record from eight attempts.
The Knights have serious problems it would seem, Brian Smith's departure has them in a deep deep hole and they'll struggle to get out of it with the final four games not getting any easier - their next assignment is at home against the Melbourne Storm next Monday. The Eels sudden-death final round matches continue next Saturday night at home when they will face the New Zealand Warriors in another must-win game.
Match Details Parramatta Eels 40 def Newcastle Knights 8 Round 22 - Sunday August 9th, 2009 03:00pm Venue: Parramatta Stadium Referee: Shayne Hayne & Matt Cecchin Sideline Officials: Paul Holland & Adam Devcich Video Referee: Tim Mander Crowd: 17,669 Halftime: Parramatta Eels 20 Newcastle Knights 8
LeagueUnlimited.com Live Commentary Talk about the game as it happens - Eels v Knights forum discussion - click here!
A few changes for just the Knights today, the two named wingers Uate and Lulia are dropped and the replacements coming in are Cooper Vuna and Shannon McDonnell. Chris Houston is on the bench replacing Cory Paterson.
EELS: 1. Jarryd Hayne 2. Luke Burt 3. Krisnan Inu 4. Joel Reddy 5. Eric Grothe 6. Daniel Mortimer 7. Jeff Robson 8. Nathan Cayless (c) 9. Matthew Keating 10. Fuifui Moimoi 11. Nathan Hindmarsh 12. Joe Galuvao 13. Todd Lowrie Interchange: 14. Kevin Kingston 15. Broderick Wright 16. Ben Smith 17. Tim Mannah KNIGHTS: 1. Kurt Gidley 18. Shannon McDonnell 3. Junior Sau 4. Adam MacDougall 19. Cooper Vuna 6. Ben Rogers 7. Jarrod Mullen 8. Danny Wicks 9. Isaac De Gois 10. Richard Fa'aoso 11. Steve Simpson 12. Zeb Taia 15. Marvin Karawana Interchange: 13. Matt Hilder 14. Wes Naiqama 16. Mark Taufua 20. Chris Houston
Kickoff: Parramatta with first possession.
1 min: PENALTY Eels - inside the ten in the first set by the Knights. Eels with an early shot at the line.
2 min: PENALTY Eels - hand in the play-the-ball by Mullen. Now the Eels are right on the Newcastle line.
3 min: The Eels knock-on through Jarryd Hayne and manage to hold out the early onslaught.
5 min: End-to-end sets from both sides after the early play. The Eels now with a touch from Lowrie and it's six again for the Knights. And now a PENALTY against Parramatta. Newcastle's first attacking chance here.
7 min: The Knights come up with the error close to the line. Eels scrum feed. A knock on from the scrumbase by Keating and now they'll re-pack, Knights feed.
9 min: TRY Newcastle Knights Good stuff coming across the field from Jarrod Mullen, he picks up a rampaging Steve Simpson who gets in right under the posts. Conversion attempt by Kurt Gidley successful. Newcastle Knights 6-0
11 min: Knock-on from the Knights just on halfway.
12 min: The Eels force a line drop-out with a smart grubber into the ingoal from Mortimer, McDonnell forced to bat it dead.
14 min: VIDEO REFEREE - Possible Eels try Good defensive pressure from the Knights amounts to nothing, Mortimer grubbers through and Gidley's fumbled it back, Inu is quicker than Gidley to pick up the scraps by the look. Decision pending...
15 min: TRY Parramatta Eels Total lack of urgency from the Knights and in particular Kurt Gidley and Krisnan Inu scrambles to get his hand on it, try time! Conversion attempt by Luke Burt successful. 6 all
16 min: PENALTY Knights - Fuifui not square at marker. They're just inside the Eels 40m, and for reasons unknown they're electing to kick for goal.
19 min: PENALTY Eels - Fa'aoso inside the ten for the Knights, the Eels will go on the attack now.
21 min: VIDEO REFEREE - Possible Eels try Luke Burt's risen above the pack to take a fantastic Mortimer bomb. Checking onside and whether he's obstructed McDonnell. A push in the back by the looks. Decision pending... NO TRY. PENALTY to the Knights on their own line.
INJURY - Steve Simpson (Knights) disappeared up the tunnel before the Knights penalty a few minutes ago, worrying stuff for the Knights forward pack. Nathan Cayless (Eels captain) is also off the park, they're assessing an ankle injury to him.
25 min: The Eels get close to the line and Hayne tries burying over from dummy half, he's held up. Tackle five now and Hindmarsh is wrapped up with the ball, almost as if they were unaware it was the last...
29 min: TRY Parramatta Eels Burt not to be denied this time, a great chip up the touchline, he manages to get the ball off an odd bounce and he scores the try. Conversion attempt by Luke Burt successful. Parramatta Eels 12-8
33 min: Some more end-to-end play, very bruising defence from both sides so far but some good metres from both sides also.
34 min: Hilder with a massive hit on young Mortimer on tackle four.
36 min: TRY Parramatta Eels A simple kick through from Joel Reddy and he regathers and scores, again a total lack of urgency from the Knights backline on the fifth tackle and Parramatta's 3rd try gives them a commanding lead going into halftime. Conversion attempt by Luke Burt successful. Parramatta Eels 18-8
39 min: Mullen puts the ball into touch on tackle five.
40 min: PENALTY Eels - Hayne chips it ahead and Todd Lowrie is impeded on the 40m line, it'll be a penalty on halftime. Burt shooting for goal.
HALFTIME: Parramatta Eels 20 Newcastle Knights 8 The Knights started with some strong defence and solid play but since losing Steve Simpson they've fallen in a hole from which they're struggling to escape. The Eels attack is as electric as ever.
We're underway in the second half. Knights with the first set, they've made good metres in the first set.
43 min: Fantastic backline play from the Knights, Naiqama's through the Eels line and then he gets it to Shannon McDonnell... and McDonnell's spilt in front of the line. Promising stuff from Newcastle.
45 min: Junior Sau gets near the line, he's injured in the tackle. Now it's the fifth and the ball is kicked cross-field and Burt goes up and takes it, he's knocked his head by the looks, Naiqama comes in over the top and executes a one-on-one strip, but the referee says the tackle was complete and awards a PENALTY to the Eels.
48 min: The Knights really giving the Eels trouble up the left side, Vuna and Sau are running amok with the help of Mullen and they're getting closer on each set. This fifth tackle it's up from Gidley and MacDougall takes it but is tackled and it's a handover.
50 min: PENALTY Knights - Luke Burt in front of the kicker on the last and he makes the tackle on Gidley, despite being warned. The Knights will get a little bit further up the park now.
52 min: PENALTY Knights - more brilliant stuff from Newcastle as they work upfield, a wide kick from Mullen to Vuna and he's away up the touchline. Galuvao is caught offside by the ensuing play and it's Newcastle to attack.
53 min: PENALTY Eels - the ball comes loose on tackle four through MacDougall and the Eels then get a penalty for a high shot as Mortimer scurries away. Fuifui back on the field now.
55 min: TRY Parramatta Eels The Eels with a big break through Kevin Kingston and then on tackle five it's floated wide and Eric Grothe has the overlap covered, then betters his position slightly. Conversion attempt by Luke Burt successful. Parramatta Eels 26-8
58 min: PENALTY Eels - Simpson with a high tackle 35m out.
64 min: The Knights with their first attacking footy since the Eels try and penalty goal, but the fifth tackle kick does nothing to pressure the Eels and they'll come back with it now.
65 min: PENALTY Eels - Karawana laid about on the tackled player and Shayne Hayne wanted none of it, the Eels out of their own end now.
68 min: TRY Parramatta Eels His hair is getting longer and now so is his list of tries in 2009... Fuifui Moimoi is in under the posts off a great offload by Jarryd Hayne. That is definitely game, set and match, the Eels home and hosed after that four-pointer. Conversion attempt by Luke Burt successful. Parramatta Eels 34-8
70 min: Another classic Fuifui display comes to an end as he is interchanged off the park. This Eels side is on fire.
71 min: MacDougall runs backwards for some insane reason, he's then wrapped up and almost dragged in goal... wait on, there's been a drop-ball! Eels scrum ten metres out.
INJURY: Joe Galuvao (Eels) has torn ligaments, he's out for at least a week or two.
74 min: Eels knock-on in their own half, a chance for some consolation points for the men from Newcastle.
77 min: No options the Knights try work today, they just can't seem to finish off. The Eels winding down here also.
79 min: Into the final 60 seconds, the Eels with a set from deep inside their own half. Lots of slow play-the-balls with the result well beyond doubt.
80 min: Todd Lowrie clutching his neck, he's okay though.