The end has officially come for last year’s Grand Finalists after the Eels were well beaten by the Rabbitohs 24 – 16 at ANZ Stadium on Saturday night.
Parramatta dropped down into 12th spot on the ladder following their second loss on the trot and now have no hope of making the finals after starting the season as the Premiership favourites at Ladbrokes.com.au.
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The Bunnies, however, are still a slim September chance after their victory pushed them into ninth spot on the ladder on equal competition points with the 10th ranked Broncos.
It was an important victory for Souths, breaking their previous two loss streak after going down to the Storm and the Panthers.
In a gritty first half on Friday night, both teams remained scoreless throughout the opening 40 minutes.
But back from the break the Rabbitohs found their form and hammered the final nail in the Eels coffin with a four-tries-to-three win.
The first points of the game came four minutes into the second half when Rhys Wesser opened the home side’s account pushing through some poor Eels defence, Chris Sandow converting so Souths lead 6 – nil.
Just four minutes later the Bunnies gained momentum scoring their second converted try through Jaiman Lowe.
The Eels fought back six minutes later when Justin Horo scored and Luke Burt kicked it through the posts to narrow the deficit to six points.
But in the 57th minute the Rabbitohs were awarded a penalty that Sandow booted over the bar and then just a 60 seconds later their dynamic hooker Issac Luke got in another four-pointer after sneaking over from dummy-half to extend their lead to 18 – 6.
Souths were next to score again when big Dave Taylor, returning from a broken collarbone, got their last try of the night in the 69th minute, the kick giving them a total of 24 points.
With 10 minutes left on the clock Parramatta added some respectability to the score with two fast tries, one each to departing players Krisnan Inu and Feleti Mateo, but it wasn’t enough and they lost the good fight.
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