The Parramatta Eels have breathed new life into their finals hopes with a hard-fought 26-20 victory over the St George Illawarra Dragons. The match, held at CommBank Stadium, was a must-win for the Eels to stay in contention for a top eight finish.
Parramatta made a strong start to the game, scoring two quick tries within the first 11 minutes. However, the Dragons rallied and winger Mikaele Ravalawa turned the tide with an impressive first-half hattrick, bringing his career hattrick count to an impressive four.
With a 16-10 lead at halftime, the Dragons seemed to have the upper hand. Ravalawa continued his dominance in the second half with another try, putting the Eels in a tight spot. But the Eels refused to give up, displaying determined defense and capitalising on the Dragons‘ mistakes.
The turning point came when a series of errors by the Dragons handed possession back to Parramatta. Seizing the opportunity, the Eels unleashed a relentless offensive assault. Sean Russell, Junior Paulo, and Bryce Cartwright all crossed the try line to give the Eels a well-deserved victory.
The victory keeps the Eels in the hunt for a spot in the finals. Coach Brad Arthur will be pleased with the team’s resilience and ability to bounce back from a shaky start. The Eels will need to maintain their momentum and continue to fight hard in their remaining matches to secure a place in the top eight.
Meanwhile, the Dragons will be disappointed with the result, especially after Ravalawa’s standout performance. Their inability to maintain control and capitalise on their early lead proved costly.
With the competition heating up as the regular season draws to a close, every win becomes crucial. The Eels have shown they are still in the race, but they will need to maintain their form and fight hard in their final matches to secure a finals berth. The Dragons, on the other hand, must regroup and find a way to bounce back if they want to keep their season alive.