Parramatta halfbacks Corey Norman and Clint Gutherson led the Eels to a 20-12 victory over Manly at Brookvale on Sunday afternoon, aided and abetted by fullback Bevan French, who took his NRL try-scoring tally to 20 in 14 appearances.
Junior Kangaroos threequarter Brian Kelly was thrown in the deep end by Manly coach Trent Barrett and and scored a try after just six minutes to put the Sea Eagles on the front foot.
The Eels did not panic, however, and with a big share of possession they gradually took control.
Norman scored the first Parramatta try before kicking a 40/20 that gave field position for French to follow suit for the Eels, who headed for the dressing room with a 14-6 lead.
When Gutherson grabbed a try soon after the interval, Parramatta led by 12 and the final result was then never in doubt.
Manly: 1 Tom Trbojevic; 2 Jorge Taufua, 3 Dylan Walker, 4 Brian Kelly (d), 5 Akuila Uate; 6 Blake Green, 7 Daly Cherry-Evans(c); 8 Brenton Lawrence, 9 Apisai Koroisau, 10 Martin Taupau, 11 Frank Winterstein, 12 Curtis Sironen, 13 Jake Trbojevic. Subs: 14 Lewis Brown, 15 Nate Myles, 16 Addin Fonua-Blake, 17 Lloyd Perrett.
Parramatta: 1 Bevan French; 2 Semi Radradra, 3 Michael Jennings, 4 Brad Takairangi, 5 Josh Hoffman; 6 Clint Gutherson, 7 Corey Norman; 8 Suaia Matagi, 9 Kaysa Pritchard, 10 Tim Mannah (c), 11 Manu Ma’u, 12 Tepai Moeroa, 13 Beau Scott. Subs: 14 Nathan Brown, 15 Daniel Alvaro, 16 Rory O’Brien, 17 Frank Pritchard.
Coverage of all the weekend’s NRL action will feature in this Monday’s edition of League Express