A dominant and creative Parramatta Eels outfit tonight totally and utterly disposed of the fancied Tigers side at Telstra Stadium. The Eels running out winners, 38 – 8.
Knocking on from the kick-off – Eel Nathan Cayless looked to start on the wrong foot, however the Eels regathered immediately after Burt stabbed a 10m dropout for his team to regain and they did, from there they were in control. Dominating possession and killing the Tigers with their second phase play. It was a much different style from the usually simple Eels game of single phase, one out.
As the Eels rolled forward and dominated the ruck, it was showtime out wide with the right edge of Ben Smith and Eric Grothe giving the Tigers defenders nightmares. Grothe was explosive and clinical in scoring an early try and gaining valuable metres all night.
Wing partner and NSW State of Origin winger Jarryd Hayne, got in on the act also – with a scintilating backline injection; scoring at speed and leaving speedsters O’Donnell and Collis in his wake. Good support from centre Ben Smith and fullback Luke Burt – it was a good effort throughout the ranks for the Eels.
The Tigers will still be trying to work out what hit them, it was one of those nights where the Eels would have disposed of any team put in front of them. The Telstra crowd of 22,000 – mostly Tigers faithful were deadly silent as the game wore on, as Parramatta kicked away on the scoreboard, they followed it up with some powerful hits by Jarryd Hayne and PJ Marsh. The two small men pulling off 2 of the biggest hits of the year, the second leaving Brett Hodgeson dazed and wounded with a bleeding nose and mouth region and a massive shiner under his left eye.
The Tigers had limited opportunites, and as such they probably tried to push the pass or rush the play – gifting possession to the Eels at key moments in the match. After 3 sets, attacking the Eels line – the Tigers handed the ball back cheaply after a Todd Payten failed tunnel ball pass, a coach killer without doubt.
The Tigers showed promise through Chris Lawrence who again was a standout for the Western club. As he develops, his speed is complimented by a much bulkier build – making the young star an even more scary prospect for opposition.
The Tigers forwards tonight were really outplayed, and this obviously makes it hard for the backline to prove dangerous, even the usually probing Robbie Farrah was quiet and prevented from dominating at dummy half.
The Eels face the Raiders away next Saturday night and the Tigers are at Gosford against the Newcastle Knights.