A committed One New Zealand Warriors side put up a strong first half showing but couldn’t stay with Parramatta in the club’s historic first outing in the Harold Matthews Cup (under-17) competition in Sydney today.
The Eels had finished just one win short of making the Harold Matthews grand final last season and were expected to prevail, which they ultimately did winning 34-6.
Yet the New Zealanders gave the contest a real shake.
After Parramatta had taken a 6-0 lead after just three minutes, the Warriors responded impressively minutes later with a try to loose forward Houma Fotu, winger Kairus Booth-Hill converting to lock the scores up at 6-6.
It remained that way until five minutes from halftime when Parramatta scored to take a 10-6 lead into the break.
There had been plenty to admire in the way the young Warriors competed through the first period.
However, the Eels proved superior in the second half scoring a further four tries to win convincingly.
The experience, though, gives the Warriors a base to work from as they head home facing a bye next weekend before returning to Sydney to meet the Roosters on February 18.
Eric Tweedale Stadium, Sydney
Parramatta Eels 34 (Andes Johansson, Cyrus Bloomfield, Ocean Vaivela, Michael Nauer, Samuel Polley, Lorima Rokosuka tries; Lincoln Fletcher 5 conversions).
One New Zealand Warriors 6 (Houma Fotu try; Kairus Booth-Hill conversion).
Halftime: 10-6 Eels.
One New Zealand Warriors | Joseph Ratcliffe; Ezekiel Davidson-Faaiuaso, Siale Pahulu, Torbein Beauvais, Kairus Booth-Hill; Boston Krone (co-captain), Deshontayne Te Wao; Timau Utiaro, Kaawyn Patterson (co-captain), Hudsyn Frost; Romana Whitiora, Lennox Tuiloma; Houma Fotu. Interchange: Jeremiah Lemana, Militoni Sikuvea, Gordon Afoa, Isaiah Savea. Coach | TJ Ashford