Parramatta recorded it’s first win last night and kept the Tigers winnless for 2007.
In a poor quality game, where generally the Tigers looked the better side – the desperate Eels somehow hung on and fought hard in the scrappy battle to secure the win.
Once again the Eels looked lost in attack, when the blue and gold side were deep in the Tigers half – seemingly every attacking play ended poorly. Final tackle kick options or movements where the ball was swung wide were easily read and shut down by the Tigers.
The Eels really need to find some cohesion in attack or the road ahead is long and hard. The Tigers showed some impressive line breaks and tackle busts in parts but their final pass and decision making in try scoring situations let them down badly. Seemingly on 3 or 4 occasions the Tigers were certain to score and somehow missed out.
The Eels will take some confidence from the victory and it may be just the stepping stone they need to awake their inner giant for 2007.
In the back-end of the game, with only a 2 point lead and PJ Marsh in the sin-bin – the Eels looked tired and sure to conceed a try, but somehow they the held fast. Finally giving away a penalty to allow the Tigers to lock the game up.
When the match went to golden point, the Tigers changed – and began to play ‘safety first’ football and moved away from how they’d played in the previous 80 minutes. This brought them down to Parramatta s level and saw them ultimately lose the golden point battle.
For the Eels, Reddy performed well in his late call up for Eric Grothe, his early try looked slick and he had a lot to do – putting a nice in and away on the Tigers defender to score in the corner. However he did have a few bad reads in defence, one leading to a Marshall try.
Luke Burt was solid, and played the sweeper role in defence nicely.
Cayless continued his impressive 2007 form and was a standout again in the forwards.
Feleti Mateo the Eels rookie forward once again looked the goods. While the youngster dropped some ball, he has a distinct SBW look about him and is the attacking threat the Eels so desperately need.
For the Tigers, Marshall and Morris looked dangerous with the ball for most of the match. Their trademark across field dummy and go kept the Eels guessing.
Hodgson was always effective for the Tigers and forward Keith Galloway was always eating up the metres for Wests and scored a nice try from 8 metres early on. Both teams will need massive improvement moving forward or they will be cannon fodder in 2007.