On Friday night the Eels kept their faint finals hopes alive with an upset win over the Brisbane Broncos at Suncorp Stadium in front of over 38,000 fans.
Parramatta, who made it to last year’s Grand Final after a magic late-season burst, still have a lot of work to do over the next three weeks if they are to make the top eight as they are still in 10th spot on the ladder.
Brisbane, who played on Friday night without the aid of their skipper Darren Lockyer out with a rib injury, aren’t out of the race just yet finishing the round in eighth.
It was a close early encounter at Suncorp with the first half producing just three tries.
The visitors were first to score when Jarryd Hayne scored a typically freakish try just eight minutes in and the conversion by Luke Burt giving the Eels a six point head start.
Punters that backed Jarryd Hayne at Ladbrokes.com.au to score the first try were rewarded just eight minutes in
Brisbane answered back six minutes later with the talented young Jharal Yow Yeh opening their account with his own four-pointer, but Corey Parker missed the kick and they still trailed by two.
The only other first half points went to Parra as Krisnan Inu scored their second converted try a minute from the break so the Eels went to the shed with a more comfortable 12 – 4 advantage.
Back in the second half the visitors found enough momentum to outscore the Broncos, getting in three more unanswered tries.
Before the Eels begun their surge, however, Brisbane managed to narrow the deficit two minutes back when fullback Josh Hoffman got over and Parker’s successful conversion pushed them within two points.
Ten minutes later, Joel Reddy took some pressure off Parramatta with a 51st minute four-pointer, Burt booting it through the poles again so the Eels went further in front 18 – 10.
Brisbane weren’t ready to give up just yet, however, and Ben Te’o scored their third and final try in the 63rd minute to narrow the margin to 18 – 14.
But two late tries to the Eels saw them score a solid win.
First winger Luke Burt scored and converted his own try in the 73rd minute in a sensational effort that saw the veteran put in a chip kick offer Hoffman, and then on the final siren debutant Anthony Mitchell iced the cake with another converted try so the Eels won 30 – 14 giving skipper Nathan Cayless something to celebrate his record 217th game as captain.
In between the final two tries, Broncos Sam Thaiday looked to have scored with four minutes left on the clock, but he lost control of the ball dashing Brisbane’s hopes of a comeback.
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