NRL Round 18 – Match 7 Results: Parramatta Eels 36 v 24 North Queensland Cowboys

Round 18 came to a close on Monday night when the Eels finally saw some success on the field, beating the struggling Cowboys 36 – 24 at Parramatta Stadium.

There were plenty of fans who placed early bets on the Eels to make the finals at, and after their six-tries-to-four win on Monday night they are just two competition points away from the top eight.

Finally putting an end to their three-game losing streak, Parramatta came out firing with Jarryd Hayne making a nice return to form with a hat-trick, making up for some pretty poor performances this season.

Meanwhile any last hopes the Cowboys were entertaining of playing in September has come to an end after they suffered their 12th loss of the season.

After a tense first quarter without points, North Queensland scored the first try in the 23rd minute when Maroons centre Willie Tonga got his first of an eventual match double after latching onto a great pass from skipper Johnathan Thurston, playing in his 150th NRL game. Thurston then converted the try and they were in front by six.

Willie Tonga scored the first try and was at great odds through in the ‘1st Tryscorer Combined’ markets

Their lead didn’t last long as Parramatta pulled out a head-spinning second quarter, scoring four unanswered tries before half-time.

Jeff Robson got over first in the 27th minute then Hayne turned it on for the crowd scoring twice in five minutes with tries in the 33rd and 38th minutes, the second a great effort as he juggled the ball after catching a Jeff Robson kick before stepping past Thurston to score.

Then to add a bit more cushion to their lead, Krisnan Inu got over in the last minute of the first half. Luke Burt had a beautiful night on the boot converting all four tries, the first of which was his 500th career goal, to give the Eels a nice 24 – 6 lead heading into the break.

In the second half Parramatta picked up where they had left off with Joel Reddy scoring their fifth just two minutes in. Burt converted again and the home side were looking untouchable sitting ahead by 24 points.

North Queensland didn’t give up the fight with Arana Taumata catching the ball off the rebound of a Parra kick to score in the 49th minute, and Tonga completing his double in the 60th minute to narrow the deficit following Thurston’s two successful kicks.

But any hope of a Cowboys’ comeback was cut short in the 65th minute when Hayne burst through to make it a hat-trick, Burt making it a perfect six from six record by kicking it through the posts to give them a total of 36 points.

The Cowboys managed to add some respectability to the score in the 70th minute when William Tupou scored their final converted try, but it wasn’t enough and the Eels finished up with the two competition points.

Sitting on the sixth line of betting to win the premiership the Eels are paying $12 through and although they haven’t been super impressive or consistent this year, last year’s brilliant last grasp comeback is still fresh in fans’ minds and they are jumping on these odds.

Fans still have the Eels’ brilliant last-grasp comeback from last season in their minds and are getting onto their $12 odds to win the 2010 Premiership

Don’t bet on the footy! Not until you sign up at who have the best odds on the footy for the Panthers v Eels showdown this Saturday.