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Eels hold out Warriors to post back-to-back wins

The Eels won back-to-back games for the first time in three months after outlasting the Warriors to triumph 28-18 at Commbank Stadium on Friday night and stay within sight of the top four.

For most of the season Parramatta have followed up a win against a top team with a loss to a bottom-placed side and after their homecoming win against Wests Tigers two weeks ago the Warriors played with confidence and energy.

However, the New Zealand-based team conceded too many six-again calls, while the Eels playmakers Mitchell Moses and Dylan Brown forced four goal-line re-starts to put the home team in a strong position.

Fijian winger Maika Sivo was back to his best after a long lay-off due to injury and he bought the home fans to their feet with a long range try and an intercept to send centre Waqa Blake racing to the tryline.

With Cronulla winning the earlier match on Friday, the Eels needed to win to stay in touch with the top four teams ahead of the run into the finals.

Every Parramatta starting forward, except hooker Reed Mahoney, ran more than 100 metres with the ball, led by Reagan Campbell-Gillard (163m) and Shaun Lane (174m).

Match snapshot

  • The Warriors put themselves under pressure in the opening stanza after conceding three set re-starts and while they defended well it was only a matter of time before they cracked.
  • Waqa Blake scored his first try in the 12th minute after Reed Mahoney threw a long pass behind Reagan Campbell-Gillard from dummy half for the Eels centre to stroll over the Warriors line. 

Blake has broken through

  • Blake had to run much further for this second try after fellow Fijian Maika Sivo intercepted a Shaun Johnson pass for winger Ed Kosi on the Warriors line and raced downfield.
  • With Chanel Harris-Tavita giving chase, Sivo stepped infield before sending Blake racing for the corner to score.

Sivo picks off SJ

  • The Warriors refused to give up and after a sustained period of pressure on the Parramatta line, Wayde Egan and Adam Pompey combined to put winger Marcelo Montoya over eight minutes before halftime. 

Montoya crosses in the corner

  • Trailing just 10-6 at half-time, the Warriors must have thought they were a chance of causing an upset but errors and ill discipline again put them under pressure and the Eels made them pay.
  • Wests Tigers-bound second-rower Isaiah Papali'i scored in the 55th minute after a reverse pass from Mahoney and captain Clint Gutherson virtually sealed the win three minutes later after Montoya was unable to take a Mitchell Moses bomb.
  • Sivo then completed a dominant second half Parramatta performance when he raced down the left touchline to score after a 20-metre Gutherson pass created space for Dylan Brown. 

No one is stopping Sivo

Play of the game

Maika Sivo scored a try and laid on another but it was fellow winger Bailey Simonsson who produced the big moment of the match after his Warriors opposite Marcelo Montoya was unable to take a Mitchell Moses bomb.

Simonsson collected the loose ball and as the Warriors defenders drove him towards the sideline, he managed to flung it in-field for Eels captain Clint Gutherson to score and give his side a 22-6 lead.

Gutherson benefits from sustained pressure

What they said

"We felt like we needed to target a number around our metres tonight, which you need to control possession and it gives you field position for our halves to play off the back of. The scoreline probably didn't reflect our dominance and our control, but we have to learn from it. I was really happy for 75 minutes, I didn't want it to finish the way it did. Just because we make changes things can't change in our systems and there was certainly some concentration lapses," - Eels coach Brad Arthur.

Eels: Round 18

"We came in at halftime feeling pretty good about ourselves but we knew that we had to be patient with the footy and unfortunately at crucial times when we got down their end we came up with some crucial errors. Against a team like that they will hurt you and they did tonight. We had some players who had a real good dig tonight, we just probably didn't play smart enough to build pressure. I think the big thing for us is when things don't go your way dealing with it. For the rest of the year we just need to find a bit of steel and effort in those areas," - Warriors coach Stacey Jones. 

Warriors: Round 18

What's next 

The Eels host the Broncos at CommBank Stadium in the first of four matches in western Sydney that may decide their 2022 fate against the Panthers (away), Sea Eagles (home) and Rabbitohs (home).

The Warriors travel to Canberra next Saturday before returning to New Zealand for just the second time since 2019 to host the Storm on July 29 ahead of a trip to the Sunshine Coast to play Souths.

Coach Stacey Jones will be hoping to have veteran winger Dallin Watene-Zelezniak (COVID) and rookie playmaker Ronald Volkman (virus) available to meet the Raiders.

Eels coach Brad Arthur expects to welcome Ryan Matterson back from a rib injury.

 

Acknowledgement of Country

The New Zealand Warriors honour the mana of the Indigenous peoples of Aotearoa, Australia and the Pacific. We acknowledge the traditional kaitiaki of the lands, elders past and present, their stories, their traditions, their mamae and their mana motuhake.

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