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Eels win first NRL game since cap drama

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 11/06/2016

Parramatta have won their first NRL game since being rocked by salary cap allegations, edging in-form Gold Coast 22-12 in Darwin.

Just a day after the club responded to show-cause notices for alleged cap rorting, star Corey Norman and Kaysa Pritchard lifted the Eels on Saturday to their eighth win of the season.

Down 8-0 after just 13 minutes, Parramatta responded with 22 straight points, ending the Titans' four-game winning streak and leaving them hanging on to eighth spot.

The Eels had lost all three games since allegations surfaced of salary cap breaches, which are likely to see them stripped of 12 competition points, all but ending any hope of a 2016 finals appearance.

In front of a crowd of 7,722 at TIO Stadium, the Eels led 20-8 in the 64th minute on Saturday when Nathan Peats was penalised for dissent, gifting his former team two points.

The indiscretion came moments after Norman sliced through a tiring Titans defence in the 60th minute and handed off to Kaysa Pritchard to finish a 55-metre movement and seal victory.

Earlier, Parramatta shrugged off a slow start to take a 12-8 lead into halftime.

In-form Titans halfback Ashley Taylor laid on two tries for his side in the opening 20 minutes, including a no-look cutout pass for Anthony Don in the sixth minute.

Taylor again linked up with his right winger five minutes later - this time through the boot - with Don tapping back for Agnatius Paasi to pounce.

The game turned when the former Brisbane talent almost set up a third try in the 27th minute.

A pass intended for Josh Hoffman was picked off by opposite centre Clinton Gutherson, who then offloaded for Bevan French to race 80 metres to score against the run of play.

Norman orchestrated his team superbly, while Pritchard's injection in the second half was also key, although the hooker was put on report for a second-half high shot on Will Zillman.

For the Titans, Taylor and prop Luke Douglas tried hard in a losing team, while mid-season recruit Konrad Hurrell, in his first game for the club, struggled in the warm conditions and failed to see out the match.

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