Second-half blitz sees Eels past Sea Eagles

Twenty two unanswered points inside the final 25 minutes saw the Eels overcome the Sea Eagles 36-20 on Friday night for a victory which keeps them in the hunt for a spot in the top four and leaves Manly's finals hopes on life support.

Maika Sivo scored twice inside the opening eight minutes to get Parramatta, who were without injured halfback Mitchell Moses, off to a flying start at 4 Pines Park, but it soon became a contest where the lead changed on numerous occasions as both side's enjoyed periods of dominance. 

Trailing 20-14 with 28 minutes to go, the Eels powered back with tries to Waqa Blake, Gutherson, Will Penisini and Dylan Brown, to put the result beyond doubt. 

After Sivo's early double, Manly seemed to click into gear, with converted tries to Tolutau Koula and Jason Saab, coupled a penalty goal in between, giving the hosts a 14-8 lead.

Tom Opacic's converted try made it 14-14 at the half, but Parra were then first to break in the second period when Christian Tuipulotu went over. 

Another penalty saw Manly stretch their lead out to six, before a freakish finish from Blake in his 150th NRL match made it a two-point game.

Gutherson and Brown then raced away for long-range tries, with Penisini crossing in between, to give their side an important victory. 

Match snapshot

  • Without halfback Mitchell Moses in the side, Eels playmaker Dylan Brown was outstanding, making 40 tackles and running for over 150 metres, to go with his try. 
  • Parramatta completed 88 percent of their sets at 4 Pines Park.
  • Sea Eagles five-eighth Kieran Foran left the match near full-time with what coach Des Hasler said was a minor hamstring injury. 
  • Jason Saab was placed on report for a tackle with 14 minutes left in the match, putting a blemish on an otherwise strong night which included a try and 249 run metres. 
  • Eels forward Ryan Matterson left the field for an HIA 10 minutes before full-time. 
  • The win means the Eels have defeated the Sea Eagles twice in a season for the first time since 2016.
  • Parramatta centre Waqa Blake marked his 150th NRL appearance with a stunning try in the second half. 

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Corey Rosser - NRL Reporter