Eels crush Titans to progress

Parramatta will face Canterbury in week three of the NRL play-offs after beating Gold Coast Titans 27-2 in their semi-final clash.

The Eels scored four tries – two in each half – to pick up their first ever win over the Gold Coast since the Queenslanders were re-admitted to the NRL.

Played in front of an Eels-dominated crowd of 28,524, tries to Feleti Mateo and Ben Smith – along with a 40th minute field goal to Jarryd Hayne – saw the Blue & Gold head into the break leading 13-2.

They kicked on in the second forty, with Kevin Kingston and Jonathan Wright crossing to seal the result.

The Titans overcame the first minute loss of Ashley Harrison, who had to be helped from the field following a head clash with Todd Lowrie four tackles in, to lead 2-nil thanks to a Scott Prince penalty in the 7th minute.

The Eels would also suffer an early loss, with Daniel Mortimer leaving the field in the 12th minute still suffering the after effects of a late hit from Sam Tagataese seven minutes earlier.

Mortimer’s injury brought Mateo into the game, and after the Eels earned a repeat set the rangy playmaker put them on the board, standing up Anthony Laffranchi to score the first try of the game for a 6-2 lead after 21 minutes.

Smith then latched onto a Jeff Robson kick to score the Eels second try five out from the break, Luke Burt’s conversion stretching the lead to 10 points.

The half came to a close with Hayne kicking a field goal from 30 metres, setting up a handy 13-2 lead at the break.

The Titans heaped on the pressure to start the second 40, spending large chunks of time on the Eels line, however Matt White dropping the ball over the line was as close as they’d get to scoring in the early part of the half.

After absorbing the pressure the Eels struck once again, quick hands releasing Burt down the left hand touchline, with Burt in turn floating a pass to Kevin Kingston who raced away to score under the posts.

Burt’s conversion made it 19-2 to the Eels with a little under 20 minutes left to play.

Three minutes later Jonathan Wright – again a late inclusion for the hamstrung Krisnan Inu – stepped his way through the line to score his first try in the top grade, with Burt converting to make it 25-2.

Burt then added a penalty goal – after Bailey was pinged for holding down Hayne in front of the posts – for a 27-2 final score.

The Parramatta Eels will take on the Bulldogs in next Friday night’s Preliminary Final at ANZ Stadium.


Pirtek Parramatta Eels 27 (Feleti Mateo, Ben Smith, Kevin Kingston, Jonathan Wright tries; Luke Burt 5 goals from 5 attempts; Jarryd Hayne field goal) defeated the Gold Coast Titans 2 (Scott Prince 1 goal from 1 attempt) At the Sydney Football Stadium. Crowd: 28,524 Half Time: Eels13-2 

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