In a grinding contest that can only be described as ugly, Mitchell Moses has delivered for the Parramatta Eels when it mattered by slotting the winning field goal early in golden point.
The hard-fought contest strengthens the Eels position on the lower rungs of the eight for the time being as they look to capitalise on their good run home to move further up the ladder.
The Eels burst out of the blocks and in the eyes of many, were unlucky not to be awarded a penalty try after Bulldogs winger Marcelo Montoya deliberately took out an Eels player in a chase for the ball.
Montoya was sin-binned for the professional foul as a result and Eels fullback Clint Gutherson slotted a penalty goal to put them ahead. The Bulldogs replied with a penalty goal of their own later in the half.
The Eels then scored two tries on the trot; a scintillating chip and chase that saw him beat several Bulldogs defenders on speed alone and a basic shift play for Semi Radradra to score.
Needing some rejuvenation to get back into the game, the Bulldogs scored a couple of tries of their own in the second half, the first coming after an ill-advised intercept attempt from Kenny Edwards resulting in a knock-on.
A try to Matt Frawley then made things interesting with the scores tied up before the moment for Moses to stand up arrived.
The ice-cold Moses then made no mistake with his second field goal attempt to seal the win for the Eels.
The second half was tough going for the Eels from an attacking perspective as coach Brad Arthur lamented his side’s lack of intent.
“We just couldn’t get out of our own half,” said Arthur.
“Our very first set from the kick-off in the second half just wasn’t good enough.
“They [the Dogs] had some big, hard bodies out there and their season was on the line. Their want and desire were really there.”
Criticised by some Eels fans for not making the impact they were expecting, his winning field goal drew praise from Arthur.
“Yeah, it was nice for Mitchy to get that,” he said.
“It was a big moment, he nailed it and he was nice and calm going into golden point.
“He spoke really well to the players but I wouldn’t say he’s had a rough start.”
Des Hasler got straight to the point about his Bulldogs side; they had their opportunities to get more out of the game but failed to do so.
“There were some parts where we were really good; the commitment and the fightback in the second half,” said Hasler.
“There were probably a few areas that we weren’t so good in.”
Player of the Game:
3. Nathan Brown
2. Aiden Tolman
- Mitch Moses