A field-goal in golden-point time by Mitchell Moses, their recent recruit from Wests Tigers, earned Parramatta a 13-12 victory over Canterbury Bulldogs at ANZ Stadium tonight, consolidating their position in the top eight and almost certainly ending the Bulldogs’ interest in the play-offs in 2017.
The teams entered the field with no late changes for the Eels from the side announced on Tuesday, while the Bulldogs made a late switch in their forward pack, with Danny Fualalo starting and Sam Kasiano dropping to the bench in an otherwise unchanged 17.
The Eels were able to win the game after a penalty for stealing against Canterbury hooker Michael Lichaa got them into field-goal range.
The Eels scored two tries in the first half and the Bulldogs responded in kind in the second.
Bulldogs fullback Will Hopoate was sinbinned after three minutes for a foul on Moses, with Clint Gutherson kicking the penalty, although a Moses Mbye penalty soon levelled the scores.
Bevan French then chipped ahead down the right touch-line and regathered brilliantly to score, making it 8-2 after 23 minutes.
Semi Radradra scored the Eels’ second on the left for a 12-2 lead at half-time.
In the second half the Bulldogs earned three back-to-back penalties and the Morris twins combined for Brett to touch down, making it 12-6 with 30 minutes to play.
The Bulldogs attacked relentlessly and with 10 minutes to go Matt Frawley dummied through the defence in front of the posts to tie the game at 12-12.
Neither team could score again in normal time before Moses won the game for the Eels.
Eels: 1 Clint Gutherson, 2 Semi Radrada, 3 Michael Jennings, 4 Brad Takairangi, 5 Bevan French, 6 Corey Norman, 7 Mitchell Moses, 8 Daniel Alvaro, 9 Cameron King, 10 Tim Mannah (c), 11 Manu Ma’u, 12 Kenny Edwards, 13 Nathan Brown; Interchange: 14 David Gower, 15 Tepai Moeroa, 16 Suaia Matagi, 17 Will Smith.
Bulldogs: 1 Will Hopoate, 2 Brett Morris, 3 Joshua Morris, 4 Chase Stanley, 5 Marcelo Montoya, 6 Josh Reynolds, 7 Moses Mbye, 8 Aiden Tolman (c), 9 Michael Lichaa, 15 Danny Fualalo, 11 Josh Jackson, 12 Adam Elliott, 13 David Klemmer; Interchange: 10 Sam Kasiano, 14 Raymond Faitala-Mariner, 16 Francis Tualau, 17 Matt Frawley.
Full coverage of all the weekend’s NRL action can be found in Monday’s edition of League Express, available in the shops and online.