Parramatta Snap the Streak Against North Queensland

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The Parramatta Eels have taken another game on the road as they took on the North Queensland Cowboys up at the TIO Stadium in Darwin to finish of Super Saturday. The Eels were coming off one of their worst performances of the year, being hammered 30-4 by the Newcastle Knights last Saturday. The Cowboys were coming off a rare win this season as they got over a poor Manly Sea Eagles last week.

The Eels were forced into the single change this week, with Manu Ma'u at home to wait for the impending birth of his child. Marata Niukore came into the starting side, with Siosaia Vave coming onto the bench. The Cowboys are without Michael Morgan, so Lachlan Coote played fullback. Shaun Fensom and Ethan Lowe have come into the starting line up, with Gavin Cooper and Coen Hess moving to the bench.

The Eels started pretty well, with both Bevan French and Corey Norman providing the Eels with multiple repeat sets through drop outs. It would eventually pay off after a penalty 12 out from the line, with Jarryd Hayne taking a quick tap and burrowing under two defender to take the lead. Clint Gutherson would miss the conversion, with the Eels up 4-0 after 14 minutes. 

The Cowboys had some issues with ill-discipline and penalties, as Parramatta had plenty of possession in the Cowboys half. The Cowboys thought they had the answer as Kyle Feldt crossed for a try, for it to be called back for a forward pass from Te Maire Martin. Michael Jennings would then get on the end of a good grubber by Bevan French, only for him to bounce it and give the Cowboys a lifeline. 

It would take 32 minutes but the Cowboys got on the board through a lovely wrap-around play from Johnathon Thurston to Kyle Feldt. Some angles made it look like Feldt may have lost it with his put down, however it was deemed that he grounded the ball just inside the field of play. Thurston shanked the kick to keep it at 4-4 with 7 minutes left. 

It would stay that way going into halftime, with errors from both teams as well as silly penalties costing both sides good field position throughout the half. 

It would take less than 2 minutes for the Eels to get the lead back, with Lachlan Coote dropping a bomb 10 metres out from the line. Two plays later, Clint Gutherson gave a beautiful cut out pass to George Gennings for a try. Gutherson would shank the conversion for an 8-4 lead just two minutes after halftime. 

The Eels would go back to back on the scoreboard, with Jarryd Hayne catching a cross field kick from Corey Norman and busting through a tackle afterward to get the ball down next to the posts. There was a slight issue with the grounding, however the precedent had been set with Kyle Feldt's try. Gutherson kicked the goal to make it 14-4 with 30 minutes left. 

It would be a battle of field position for the next 10 minutes, with both teams exchanging errors and decent field position in a little bit of a snoozefest in the middle of the second half. The Cowboys nearly scored through Kyle Feldt, only for Josh Hoffman to hit the arm of Feldt and force an error as he went to put theball down off a Thurston kick. 

It would get worse for Lachlan Coote and the Cowboys, with Coote dropping a bomb from Clint Gutherson. Michael Jennings would follow through from 15 metres out and score right next to the posts to leave Gutherson with an easy conversion for a 20-4 lead. 

Both teams would be riddled with poor sets and errors to finish up the last quarter of the game, with the Eels having the better goal line defense to hold up a poor Cowboys team. Matt Scott would grab a consolation try with less than a minute left on the clock, and Enari Tuala would go over as the siren sounded after an offside penalty, however the Parramatta Eels would get out with a 20-14 win in their adopted home. 

The Eels snap a 9 game losing streak, and will look to back it up at ANZ Stadium against the South Sydney Rabbitohs, while the Cowboys are at home against a Warriors team looking for blood. 



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