It has been a long time between drinks for the Parramatta Eels at Leichhardt Oval but they got the job done, defeating the Wests Tigers 28-20. 

The scoreline, perhaps, does not reflect the ebb and flows of the game, particularly given the Eels dominance for much of the second half.

Two late tries to David Nofoaluma gave the score some respectability for the Tigers but it was a largely inconsistent game for their side.

The Tigers will face a nervous wait on Zane Musgrove who was put on report on the opening play of the game.

The Eels had the early momentum and looked set to score first, only for the bunker to deny them, deeming Shaun Lane knocked on into a Tigers player.

A second Eels try was then disallowed when a pass from Will Penisini was called forward and the Eels could not believe their misfortune.

The Tigers capitalised, however, as their early defensive resolve saw them translate it into points when Nu Brown scurried over from dummy half.

Jackson Hastings and Daine Laurie them combined to score, with the fullback capitalising on a drop by Eels fullback Clint Gutherson.

Rugby league is a game that can turn on its head and in a matter of minutes, the tide turned for the Eels.

Their first try came somewhat luckily as several kicks found their way forward before prop Reagan Campbell-Gillard won the race to the ball to score.

Justin Matamua, a highly touted Tigers prospect was on the field for just five minutes before he was sin-binned for a late hit on Mitch Moses.

The Eels capitalised on the extra man and Dylan Brown floated a pass over to Maika Sivo who powered over opposite winger Junior Tupou to score.

On the next play and just before the break, the Eels again raided the left and Sivo turned provider this time, kicking infield for Reed Mahoney to score.

The second half started like the first as the Eels put a foot on the accelerator.

A clever short side play saw Moses swing around to the left and he glided past three Tigers defenders, all of whom fell for his dummy.

Isaiah Papali’i then capped off another fine performance with a try on the back of a Moses kick.

The two late Nofoaluma tries helped the Tigers for and against but it was too little, too late.

Despite the loss, Tigers coach Brett Kimmorley praised the resolve and effort his side showed throughout the game.

I can’t knock their effort, I can’t knock how proud I am as their coach for the effort they have put in. It is just that attention to detail,” Kimmorley said.

Eels coach Brad Arthur is not one to mince his words and admits that his side has plenty of work to do in the remaining rounds to be even better.

“We are still miles off where we need to be but we are tracking the right way,” Arthur said.

NRL News Player of the Game

3. Mitch Moses (PAR)

2. Joe Ofahengaue (WST)

1. Isaiah Papali’i (PAR)

Wests Tigers forward Joe Ofahengaue

By ricky

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