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Semi gives Eels best NRL start since '99

NZN 12/03/2017 Scott Bailey

Semi Radradra scored his first four-try haul on Sunday night as Parramatta made their best start to a NRL season since 1999, trouncing St George Illawarra 34-16 in Wollongong.

Radradra crossed for two tries in each half, scoring three on his left wing before coming in-field for his fourth to finish the match.

"He turned up well in the right areas," coach Brad Arthur said.

Michael Jennings also provided an outstanding try-assist when he flicked a ball one-handed between his legs to put the winger over for his second.

It marks the first time in 18 years the Eels have gone two from two, after defeating Manly last week, 20-12.

Clint Gutherson and Corey Norman again looked dangerous in the halves as the Eels ran away with the match in the first half.

The pair combined for Gutherson's opening try after 40 seconds, while Norman put in a perfectly weighted grubber for Brad Takairangi to score before halftime.

It marked the second time in as many weeks that Norman controlled a match with poise as the Eels again dominated territory and possession.

"He still hasn't hit his straps in gaining full match fitness," Arthur said of Norman.

"On the back of what our forwards have provided for him at the moment he is getting the ball in good situations and he's just shown a real level of patience and maturity."

Norman then threw a long pass while being held in the 58th minute to give Radradra his third.

The game is just the second Norman and Gutherson have played together in the halves but, along with fullback Bevan French, the Eels look as threatening as they have for a long time.

French scored one himself, dummying three times as he bamboozled the Dragons' defence in the second half in front of 16,023 fans.

He then laid on a brilliant inside ball for Radradra to score his fourth to seal the win.

The Dragons looked more like the side tipped at the start of the season to be wooden-spoon contenders, than the one who beat Penrith last weekend, 42-10.

Gareth Widdop, Josh Dugan and Paul Vaughan all scored for the Dragons, but they were rarely in the contest.

Prop Russell Packer dropped the first pass of the match to help Parramatta to their first try, while they turned it over on their next set when Josh McCrone fumbled a ball on the last.

"That was the tone of the game, every time we turned the ball over they scored," coach Paul McGregor said.

"Six of their tries came directly off our errors. We kicked the ball dead four times. We beat ourselves up a bit tonight."

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