Sydney Roosters fullback James Tedesco

It was the 2018 premiers against the 2018 wooden spooners. The Sydney Roosters v the Parramatta Eels. 

Although the result would not suggest that there was such a stark gap between the two sides.

Determined to have a much better season in 2019, the Eels pushed a strong Roosters side all the way to show they can battle top sides.

The Eels night did not start off well even prior to kick-off, as a calf injury ruled out Tepai Moeroa in the warm-up.

Not resting on their laurels, though, it was the Eels who scored first.

A lovely cut-out pass by an unlikely source in Junior Paulo, saw Brad Takairangi and Blake Ferguson combine for the winger to score.

The Roosters would hit back straight away as the Eels made an error straight after points.

James Tedesco would kickstart his stellar game as he powered over for his first try.

Two further Latrell Mitchell penalty goals had the Roosters up at the half-time break.

The Eels refused to give in and Maika Sivo’s hard work paid off as he scored his first NRL try off a Clint Gutherson cut-out pass.

This is where the lead changed hands several times as the two sides went back and forth for much of the contest.

Two further tries were scored in this period as the lead changed hands.

The first by the Roosters with an acrobatic tap-back by Daniel Tupou for Mitch Aubusson.

The second to the Eels as Sivo powered his way over Roosters winger Matt Ikuvalu with ease.

The Roosters again reclaimed the lead at 20-18, though, as Victor Radley’s dummy confused defenders and he bustled over to score.

Two final Roosters tries, both of which involved Tedesco then sealed the Roosters win.

He laid on the pass for Sio Siua Taukeiaho to power over, before he nabbed his second by bursting through the line.

Although the margin was 14 points, it was a much closer affair and one the Eels can be proud of.

A lack of goal-line defence and poor errors cost the Eels and it disappointed coach Brad Arthur.

“If we want to mix it with the really good teams, we have to be harder with our defence on the tryline,” he said.

“We turned over a heap of possession at times with silly errors… We can’t allow soft tries at the tryline.

“The tries were soft in the second half… Some of the tries they scored weren’t good enough.”

Forced to shuffle things around because of injury, Roosters coach Trent Robinson was pleased with how his players responded.

“Changing positions and guys having to go into different positions… guys kept turning up,” Robinson responded.

“Rads (Victor Radley) went to nine and gets try out of dummy half.

“You want 17 to start and finish the game but if that doesn’t happen you don’t want to say we lost because of that.”

NRL News Player of the Game

3. James Tedesco

2. Maika Sivo

  1. Sio Siua Taukeiaho

By ricky

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