You are using an older browser version. Please use a supported version for the best MSN experience.

Depleted Eels hold out Warriors in NRL

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 2/06/2017 Scott Bailey

Parramatta were left with just one man on the bench but produced their gutsiest NRL win in seasons to hold out a fast-finishing Warriors 32-24 on Friday night at ANZ Stadium.

The Eels lost hooker Kaysa Pritchard (concussion) and winger Josh Hoffman (knee) in the first half, before interchange forward David Gower suffered a broken hand in the second.

Centre Kirisome Auva'a was also forced to play on with a knee injury late as the Eels' backline was stretched to its limits.

But despite the injury toll, the Eels still finished the fastest when Clinton Gutherson crossed from dummy-half with a minute to go to wrap up the win.

The victory provisionally puts the Eels into the top eight, ahead of Canberra's clash on Sunday with Manly.

It marks just the second time they have been there at the halfway mark of the season since 2010, but their performance had all the hallmarks of the Eels' spirit from their 1980s' glory days.

Parramatta looked shot when the Warriors crossed twice in the last 15 minutes to reduce the margin to two, but the visitors blew a chance with four minutes to go with a forward pass to unmarked winger Ken Maumalo.

Kieran Foran was the Warriors' best against his former club.

Booed every time he touched the ball early, he twice took it to the line to set up tries for Simon Mannering and Ryan Hoffman.

Hoffman's try in the 66th minute was followed by a Roger Tuivasa-Sheck special six minutes later as he beat four defenders and put the Warriors back in the match.

But even then, a resolute Parramatta still held on.

The match had earlier swung on a length-of-the-field Semi Radradra try late in the first half.

With scores locked at 12-12 and the Eels already down to 15 men, the Warriors had all the momentum when Shaun Johnson took the ball on the last tackle and looked to kick short 20 metres out.

However, he barely managed to get a boot to it, and the ball was spread to Radradra who ran 80 metres to give the Eels a valuable six-point lead.

After halftime, Johnson helped the Eels extend their lead to eight, when he was penalised for rushing off his own line to try to claim an intercept.

image beaconimage beaconimage beacon