Eels show class and finesse to down under-strength Storm

Parramatta Eels fullback and captain Clint Gutherson

The Parramatta Eels defied recent history and form between the two teams to prove too good for the Melbourne Storm at Bankwest Stadium.

In a hard fought battle, it would be the Eels who took out the win 14 points to nil.

The last 4 meetings between these two powerhouse teams had the Storm scoring 134 points to 30.

With the Storm missing up to 11 players due to injury or suspension, they were going to struggle to continue their 8 match winning streak.

It took until the fourteen minute for either team to register the first points of the match.

After the Storm were penalised for an escort play, it left the Eels with a decision to make.

Mitchell Moses kicked the easy penalty goal for the Eels to lead 2-nil.

Just three minutes later, the Eels registered the first try of the match through Waqa Blake.

Ryan Matterson showcased his silky offloading skills with a lovely one-handed flick inside to Blake.

The centre put on a right foot step to beat Josh Addo-Carr to the line.

Moses kicked the conversion for the Eels to take a handy 8-nil lead.

The next fifteen minutes did not reach any great heights due to mainly poor possession from both teams.

As half-time neared, Maika Sivo who scores tries for fun at Bankwest, raced his way to the corner to score.

From a scrum in the middle of the field, the ball was passed to Clint Gutherson from Dylan Brown.

Gutherson off-loaded a quick pass under pressure for Sivo to win the race to the goal-line and score his 22nd try in 20 games at Bankwest.

Moses missed the sideline conversion for the Eels to lead by 2 converted tries.

The Eels 12-0 lead at the break was their biggest half-time lead over the Storm since 2002.

Thirteen minutes into the second half the Storm’s bad luck continued with Nelson Asofa-Solomona sent to the sin bin for a high tackle.

Already on the back foot, the Storm were again penalised due to a strip.

Moses kicked the easy penalty goal from in front.

The game did not reach any great level in the next 20 minutes and the Eels ended up keeping the Storm scoreless for only the sixth time in their history and first time since 2014.

In a further blow for the Storm, there are concerns that Brandon Smith suffered a broken jaw and Kenny Bromwich a calf tear.

Although they were held to nil, the effort his players showed with so many out pleased Storm coach Craig Bellamy.

“I think it was only 2-0 in the second half with the players we had in, we had a debutant and a new captain so we had a bit of a disrupted week. I couldn’t have asked for much more from them,” Bellamy said.

Not a coach to rest on his laurels, Eels boss Brad Arthur wants his side to show more patience in attack.

“All we’re doing at training is working on our defence, we’re doing bits and pieces with the ball,” Arthur said.

“We have to make sure our defence is working together and it is.

“It’s getting better, we’ll start spending more time on our attack as we go.”

Grinding out wins is a crucial component in Arthur’s eyes for his Eels side.

“We need to learn to be able to grind out a full 80 minutes and there’s still parts of our game we’re not on top of,” Arthur continued.

“Part of that is making sure we can get three tries out [in front] and defend our way to a win because that’s what it’s going to take.”

NRL News Player of the Game

3 – Clint Gutherson

2 – Ryan Papenhuyzen

1 – Nathan Brown

Melbourne Storm fullback Ryan Papenhuyzen

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *