Eels survive scare to beat Bulldogs in NRL | Ralph-Lauren

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Parramatta have proven why they are a more composed team than in years gone by, surviving a scare to kill off last-placed Canterbury 36-10.

Down 10-6 at halftime, the Eels produced a 30-point second half to stay third on the NRL ladder with Mitch Moses and Isaiah Papali’i starring.

In the past, Parramatta may have panicked and gone chasing points after falling behind against a side they were meant to beat.

But this time they held firm as the Bulldogs quite literally threw their advantage away.

With all the momentum before the break, the game swung when Canterbury made a meal of a last-tackle play five minutes into the second half.

After halfback Brandon Wakeham passed straight into Dylan Napa, the Bulldogs prop inexplicably let the ball lay unclaimed on the ground before Moses pounced.

The Eels halfback kicked the loose ball forward and was taken out by Wakeham in pursuit, handing Parramatta a clear penalty try.

From there, it was the Eels as they had 74 per cent of the ball in the second half.

Their lead was out to eight moments later when Nathan Brown went to the line and put Shaun Lane through a hole, before Junior Paulo later sent Reagan Campbell-Gillard across.

The last of those tries came while Bulldogs prop Luke Thompson was in the sin-bin, after play was called back to penalise him for a late shot on Dylan Brown.

Debutant Sean Russell also bagged a double late, as a result of two nice balls from Clint Gutherson on the left edge.

Papali’i meanwhile was also superb, running 194 metres on the left edge and busting 11 tackles.

The Eels’ big win at one stage looked in doubt.

After the Bulldogs withstood Parramatta’s early ball while only conceding a Ryan Matterson try to a kick, they looked the better side.

Napa ended a 44-game try-scoring drought when he collected a fumbled Jake Averilo kick to dot down.

With Marata Niukore sin-binned for a high shot on Josh Jackson, Wakeham then took full advantage when he put Tui Katoa over with a lofted ball for his winger.

But that ultimately amounted to little, as the Bulldogs missed out on their first back-to-back wins since 2019.

Adding further insult to injury, back-rower Adam Elliott also suffered a fractured cheekbone.

Eels hooker Nathaniel Roache also suffered a knee injury in his first NRL game in two years, while Nathan Brown finished the game on report for a high shot.


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