On Sunday afternoon the Warriors thrashed the Eels 35 – 6 at Mt Smart Stadium in wet and windy conditions, making it nearly impossible for even the most devout Parramatta fans to see their side repeating the dazzling last-grasp run to last year’s finals again this season.
The Eels, now in 10th spot on the ladder, suffered their third consecutive loss on Sunday and look in real trouble with or without Jarryd Hayne as they have been unable to score more than six points in a match in their last three outings.
It was a big win for New Zealand, the first time they have strung together three straight wins in nearly two years, and they now find themselves in top eight company.
The Warriors began their classy six-tries-to-one win just seven minutes into the match when Lewis Brown scored their first four-pointer off a Issac John grubber. Brown later went on to finish up with their final four-pointer as well, adding the icing and the candles to their most impressive win of the season so far.
The first try was converted by James Maloney and the Warriors lead by six. In a low scoring first half that in no way prepared fans for the onslaught New Zealand would bring to the second half, the Eels scored the only other try when Tom Humble got a beauty in the 14th minute.
In the conditions the majority of tries were going to be scored off the boot, but what would turn out to be the Eels’ sole match try was undoubtedly one of the best as they turned nothing into a great effort. Burt then converted tying the score six all.
Then in the 34th minute Ben Matulino scored the Warriors’ second and after Maloney’s conversion the home side went to the break leading 12 – 6.
Back from the break the Warriors had upped their ante and gave the dedicated fans that turned up to see the boys in black and white a real show. New Zealand managed another four tries one each to Ukuma Ta’ai (61st minute), Manu Vatuvei (68th minute), James Maloney (72nd minute), and then Lewis Browns’ second in the 75th.
Maloney converted two from four, kicked a penalty in the 66th minute and then a showy final minute field goal by Isaac John saw the Warriors finish triumphantly with a 35 – 6 win.
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