The Parramatta Eels have continued to solidify their Premiership credentials with an emphatic performance, downing St George-Illawarra 48-14 in a game dominated by the Parramatta halves.
While the 6.15pm game on a Sunday night may generally not elicit the most exciting of Rugby League displays, a masterclass from the Eels has provided just that to the committed Rugby League fans, avoiding thinking about the return of work tomorrow.
For now, there is nothing but football.
It didn’t take long for Parramatta to get going, looking to build on their match-winning performance last week against the Melbourne Storm.
Early pressure lead to opportunities for the Eels’ backs to get early ball.
A Dylan Brown step into the sixth minute (after his career game last week) would open the scoring for Parramatta.
Ten minutes after that and his partner-in-crime Mitchell Moses would embarrass an out-of-position fill-in fullback in his namesake Moses Mbye with a deft chip and chase to extend the lead to 10.
Parramatta looked like every bit a team about to pile on some points.
To the Dragons credit however, some scramble defence was able to contain the flurry of attacking raids and stymie the offence of the flying Eels.
The scores would remain level for the next 20 minutes, with St George able to mount some convincing attempts against Parramatta’s defensive line.
Despite some skillful movements from the Eels, the Dragons managed to hold on an and earned a penalty on half-time, taking the score to 12-8 with the game in the balance.
Whatever was said at half-time, it was not enough for the Dragons and it was more than enough for Parramatta.
Less than five minutes into the half, the somewhat-maligned Nathan Brown continued to show his value after some strong runs in the first half, pouncing on a fortuitous ball to open the scoring.
A few minutes after that and Mitchell Moses brilliant lead-up play would result in Reed Mahoney earning a four-pointer of his own.
The floodgates would remain open, with two more tries to Waqa Blake over the next short period before Tariq Sims earned a reprieve for his side with a late try of his own.
Not allowing St George to have the last word, some hot potato play saw the Eels ten metres out with ball in hand.
A sublime, unbelievable flick pass from Bryce Cartwright landed in the grateful hands of Mitchell Moses, who would then seal the game in the corner.
While Brad Arthur will lament some lapses in concentration, the Eels remained vigilant until the final siren, piling on points when the game was well and truly won.
The Dragons’ players look shell-shocked.
Perhaps hoping for an ambush in opposition territory, the Red V were duly cut down by an electric Eels performance.
Parramatta Eels 48 (D. Brown, Moses 2, N. Brown, Mahoney, Gutherson, Blake 2) def St George-Illawarra Dragons 14 (Bird, Sims)
Mitchell Moses 8/8
Zac Lomax 2/2
Zac Lomax 1/1
NRL News Player of the Match
3 Points – Dylan Brown (PAR)
2 Points – Mitchell Moses (PAR)
1 Point – Waqa Blake (PAR)