The Parramatta Eels continued their strong winning form over the Wests Tigers by overpowering them 26-16 in slippery conditions at Bankwest Stadium.
The Tigers record at Bankwest didn’t make for good reading with only 3 wins out of their past 9 at the Eels home ground.
With a very physical clash throughout and plenty of injuries Clint Gutherson led the way.
He again showed why he is one of the form players of the competition with a 5-star display against their fierce rivals.
The Tigers got off to a flying start with a try inside the first 2 minutes.
Luciano Leilua beat Reed Mahoney and Ryan Matterson to barge over close to the line from a great short ball by the Dally M leader Harry Grant.
Moses Mbye missed the conversion for the Tigers to take the early lead 4-0.
Soon after, the Eels bounced back in style with a try themselves.
Maika Sivo recorded his 10th try of the season to bump off Adam Doueihi to score in the corner.
The try came from a quick pass from Gutherson to Shaun Lane who produced a great cut out ball for Sivo to score.
Mitchell Moses missed his conversion attempted to keep the game all tied up at 4-all.
Not to be out done, David Nofoaluma wanted to be part of the action.
He also scored his 10th try of the season through a clever long pass by Doueihi.
Mbye converted for his team to take the score out to 10-4 in favour of the Tigers.
The Tigers extended their lead to 12-4 after a successful penalty goal due to a strip.
Eels interchange forward Andrew Davey took the line on and offloaded, finding Gutherson in support.
Gutherson threw a great ball to put Reagan Campbell-Gillard in a hole.
Campbell-Gillard who was the best forward on the field beat Doueihi to run 40 metres to score a great solo try.
Moses converted the easy conversion to bridge the gap to 12-10.
It didn’t take long for the Eels to draw level at 12-all.
From a ruck infringement penalty, Moses slotted the penalty goal to tie the game up again.
The game was left in silence 13 minutes from half-time with Michael Chee-Kam leaving the game due to a sickening head injury.
Just before half-time, Moses took it upon himself to stamp his authority on the match with a great chip and chase to score.
A great bounce saw the play maker give the Eels a 18-12 lead after converting his own try.
This score took us to half-time with plenty of wounded bodies needing a break.
The Eels started the second half like the ended the first half with Lane grounding the ball in the in-goal just inside the dead-line from a pressured Gutherson kick only 4 minutes in.
Moses missed an easy kick with his standards for the Eels to lead 22-12 with 36 minutes remaining.
Mistakes dominated the next 20 minutes until Sivo scored his 2nd try for the match.
Again it was set up by Gutherson with his 3rd try assist for the match.
A great cut out ball across the face of Michael Jennings for Sivo to dive over.
Moses did not add the extra 2 points for the Eels to extend their lead to 26-12.
With 3 minutes remaining, the score could of blown out even more in favour of the Eels.
Though Blake Ferguson was disallowed a spectacular try by a correct accidental off-side ruling by the bunker.
The Tigers got a late try with 2 minutes remaining through Tommy Talau.
Mbye created some space through some quick passes beforehand to give Talau a try through good footwork and determination to find the goal-line.
The Eels bounced back to the winners circle after their below par performance last week against the Manly Sea Eagles.
With many stars returning, they proved they were too good for a Tigers side who never stopped trying and not many troops left on the bench for a great deal of the match.
Gutherson said it was a tough win and having a crowd back made it easier for them in the last 10 minutes to secure the win.
A win is a win in slippery conditions and it is a good turn around after last week’s performance.
NRL News Player of the Game
3 – Clint Gutherson
2 – Reagan Campbell-Gillard
1 – Harry Grant