Eels lose points and players - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Eels lose points and players

By Brent Read 26/04/2003 05:24:31 AM Comments (0)

Parramatta's NRL season is hanging by a thread after coach Brian Smith watched his undermanned side beaten by Brisbane and lose possibly three more players in the process.

The Eels, already struggling with a host of injuries, put on a gutsy display at Parramatta Stadium, but it wasn't enough to overcome the Broncos.

Test fullback Darren Lockyer's try with five minutes remaining handed Brisbane a 20-14 win and left Parramatta with only two wins from their opening seven games of the season - and a hefty injury toll.

The Eels finished the match with only one player on the interchange bench after halfback Paul Green was forced off in the first half with a suspected fractured cheekbone, the same injury which resulted in young forward Chris Armit leaving the field in the second half.

Back rower Lee Hopkins suffered a suspected broken thumb in the dying minutes.

All three could face significant stretches on the sideline.

"I think the game ebbed and flowed in terms of supremacy. It was one hell of a battle for 80 minutes," Smith said.

"It was tough. I think both teams were (courageous)."

The Eels, who went into the match without captain Nathan Cayless (broken arm), gun forward Nathan Hindmarsh (ankle) and classy backs Luke Burt (shoulder) and Adam Dykes (Achilles), led 14-10 after 14 minutes of a second half which had everything.

But Broncos centre Michael DeVere, who staked his claim for a NSW jersey by slightly shading Parramatta's Jamie Lyon, scored in the 66th minute and Lockyer cruised over with five minutes remaining, only two minutes after he was held up over the line by Lyon.

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