NRL Round 6 – Match 7 Results: Eels 22 v Rabbitohs 8

Parramatta made a sensational NRL comeback on Sunday when they defeated the Rabbitohs 22 – 8 at ANZ Stadium, securing just their second season victory.

After three straight losses this was the right time for the Eels to answer their critics and start to show some of the determination and skill that saw them make the grand final last season.

The previously in-form Rabbitohs were given a second-half wake-up call, coming off three impressive victories, obviously missing Roy Asotasi and Michael Crocker.

It was a terrific result for the Eels and Nathan Hindmarsh who celebrated becoming the most-capped Parramatta player in history with a comprehensive win.

In the first half it looked all over again for Parramatta, who failed to score in the opening 40 minutes after a miserable completion rate, trailing at the half time break 8 – 2.

South Sydney got in early as Fetuli Talanoa put their first points on the board just four minutes in. Colin Best then backed it up with a 22nd minute try, but the two failed conversion attempts saw them lead by eight instead of a possible 12.

After a couple of nail-bitingly close try attempts, a 40th minute penalty kick by the Eels Luke Burt, who impressed everyone with his precision kicking five from five on the day, saw Parramatta trail by just six points at half time.

Back from the break the Eels gave the Rabbitohs a big reality check, coming from a six point deficit to not only claim victory but to keep their opponents scoreless in the second half as well.

Stepping up in both attack and pulling out some brilliant defence, the Eels scored their first try four minutes back from the break when centre Timana Tahu got across the Rabbitohs line.

Luke Burt, converted to bring them within two points of their rivals.

Six minutes later the Eels took the lead as Burt put in an absolutely dogged chase to get to a Daniel Mortimer kick before South Sydney’s too relaxed Rhys Wesser, pounce on the ball and score in the 50th minute. Converting his own try Burt bought the Eels to lead 14 – 8 with 30 minutes left on the clock.

Parramatta again went for the penalty kick in the 57th minute giving them another two points.

After a tough 20 minutes, young Daniel Mortimer scored again for Parramatta in the 70th minute and the conversion saw the Eels reach their final score of 22 points.

In an almost farcical final quarter, the referee sent off two players within a few minutes. After an unnecessary chat to the captains a few moments earlier about not allowing the teams to get any more penalties, a ball rake on a South Sydney player saw Eels co-captain Nathan Cayless sent to the sin bin, despite not being the one to strip the ball.

Then a few moments later a high tackle shot meant the ref had to be consistent, and so he sent off Rabbitohs centre Beau Champion for 10 as well.

Whether it was Hindmarsh’s record-breaking game that made all the difference, or if it was just the Eels time to turn their season around will be determined next week.

Also, after the success of Round 6, Hindmarsh is likely to co-captain the team with Nathan Cayless again next week as they play the Cowboys up at Dairy Farmers Stadium.