Parramatta have moved into the top eight of the NRL ladder with a 22-16 victory over South Sydney today at ANZ Stadium although, after leading 18-0 at the break, they had to withstand a strong Rabbitohs’ comback in the second half.
Souths were forced into a late change, with Bryson Goodwin ruled out youngster Tyrell Fuimaono starting at centre and Zane Musgrove joining the bench. George Burgess was in the starting lineup, with Robbie Rochow on the bench.
Parramatta forward Nathan Brown was out with a rib injury and was replaced at loose forward by Daniel Alvaro. Siosaia Vave started for the Eeld in the front row, with Suaia Matagi moving to the bench and Will Smith joining the matchday squad on the bench.
The Rabbitohs were coming off a five-day turnaround after a tough game against Melbourne Storm in Perth on Sunday, and they conceded three unanswered tries in the first half, with fullback Cody Walker in particular having a bad night under the high ball.
The star of the first half was Mitchell Moses, who sent in Tepai Moeroa for the opening try of the evening after just six minutes.
Clint Gutherson laid on the next try as his grubber was fumbled by Walker straight into the hands of Beau Scott.
A Gutherson penalty goal preceded his break and pass to Semi Radradra, who touched down to make it 18-0 at the break.
Souths backrower Angus Crichton picked up a loose ball and sprinted 90 metres to score Souths’ first try nine minutes into the second half.
But Eels winger Josh Hoffman secured victory with a dash down the right touchline, narrowly avoiding touch.
Alex Johnston completed the scoring with two late tries for the Rabbitohs, but too late to influence the result.
Rabbitohs: 1 Cody Walker, 2 Alex Johnston, 3 Hymel Hunt, 15 Tyrell Fuimaono, 5 Aaron Gray, 6 John Sutton, 7 Adam Reynolds, 8 Thomas Burgess, 9 Robbie Farah, 17 George Burgess, 11 Kyle Turner, 12 Angus Crichton, 13 Sam Burgess (c); Interchange: 10 Robert Rochow, 14 Damien Cook, 16 Anthony Cherrington, 19 Zane Musgrove.
Eels: 1 Bevan French, 2 Semi Radrada, 3 Bradley Takairangi, 4 Kirisome Auva’a, 5 Joshua Hoffman, 6 Clinton Gutherson, 7 Mitchell Moses, 17 Siosaia Vave, 9 Kaysa Pritchard, 10 Tim Mannah (c), 11 Manu Mau, 12 Tepai Moeroa, 15 Daniel Alvaro; Interchange: 8 Suaia Matagi, 14 Beau Scott (c), 16 Kenny Edwards, 19 Will Smith.
Full coverage of all the weekend’s NRL matches can be found in Monday’s issue of League Express