NRL Round 11 – Match 2 Results: Parramatta Eels 18 v 22 Cronulla Sharks

On Saturday the worst performing team in the NRL managed to score their third victory for 2010, when the Sharks travelled to Parramatta and defeated the Eels by four points.

It was the second time this season that the Sharks have been able to beat the Eels at home following their 11 – 0 win ahead of them back in Round 4. In fact, Parramatta Stadium has been one of the most successful venues for Cronulla as they have now won seven of their past eight games there.

Despite the win Cronulla are still in the 15th spot on the ladder, last of the premiership contenders, while the Eels have managed to hang onto a spot in the top eight sitting in sixth.

The Eels were playing without two of their stars, Jarryd Hayne and Timana Tahu both away on Origin duties, but still managed to score first when replacement fullback Tom Humble crossed the line in the 12th minute.

Luke Burt converted the Eels’ first try and the home team lead by six early on.

The Sharks opened their account in the 21st minute when Anthony Tupou scored a four-pointer. Dean Collis backed up with another less than 10 minutes later for the visitors, and with Nathan Gardner kicking one from two Cronulla lead 10 – 6 after the first 30 minutes.

Before the half time siren, however, Parramatta managed two tries within just six minutes to give them a seemingly comfortable lead heading into the break. First Jeff Robson pushed the Eels in front with a 34th minute converted try and then Daniel Mortimer crossed in the 40th minute. Burt made it three from three with another conversion to extend the home teams lead to 18 – 10.

But an impressive second half comeback by the Sharks saw the Eels give up their half-time lead and the win.

The Sharks scored twice more while keeping Parramatta from getting any more points on the board.

Tim Smith, who threw a dummy and then got over on the last tackle, and Paul Aiton, pouncing on a bomber kick from skipper Trent Barrett, scored a try each in the 57th and 66th minutes and with Gardner booting both through the posts, the Sharks snuck in for a shock victory.

A minute before Aiton crossed for the Sharks, Parramatta halfback Mortimer nearly made it a match double, but his effort was ruled a no try by the video refs. It was one of many close calls and near misses for the Eels, who were given plenty of chances to score in the second half but just couldn’t come good.

This weekend the Eels face the Dragons at WIN Stadium while the Sharks host the Broncos. If you fancy the Eels to return to form and hand the Dragons another loss or the Sharks to secure a rare consecutive win, then head to Ladbrokes.com.au to place your wagers!

In more news regarding the Sharks, Cronulla head coach Ricky Stuart has announced that he will leave the Sharks at the end of the season, with assistant Shane Flanagan taking over his position.

And State of Origin betting is also open at Ladbrokes.com.au now too for Wednesday night’s State v State showdown.