Eels scrape home 24-22 over Storm - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Eels scrape home 24-22 over Storm

By Steve Jancetic 29/06/2008 05:04:29 PM Comments (0)

Parramatta did little to convince those doubting their NRL premiership credentials as they struggled to beat an understrength Melbourne 24-22 at Parramatta Stadium.

The Eels were forced to come from behind after the Storm, minus nine players due to Origin commitments, stunned the home side with two early tries for a 10-0 lead.

Parramatta eventually found their groove with three tries in the space of 12 minutes, but there was more than a touch of controversy to their charge with the Eels benefiting from an apparent crackdown on kickers being hit by defenders.

There were three penalties all handed out to the Eels for halfback Brett Finch being taken out late, the last of which led to Krisnan Inu's 64th minute match-sealer to put Parramatta's finals hopes back on track.

Melbourne threatened a late upset when Cronk, arguably the best player on the field, stepped his way over from close range, but there was no miracle for the visitors who must be thankful the Origin period is just about over.

Inu was the villain early when his knock on gave the Storm an early opportunity to get on the board, Sika Manu crashing over out wide off a Cooper Cronk flat ball.

It was panic stations on 15 minutes when Joe Tomane raced 90 metres to make it 10-0, a Finch pass clipping Nathan Hindmarsh's shoulder before the young Melbourne centre showed too much toe for the cover defence.

Parramatta's toil eventually paid off as they worked from one side to the other, Taulima Tautai doing sensationally well to get the ball down in the corner after Joel Reddy had flopped out a Finch kick he had regathered.

Tony Williams crossed to give the home side the lead before the second penalty in Finch's favour, for dubious contact from Storm debutant Sinbad Kali, put the Eels in position to send Reddy over out wide.

The Storm were unlucky not to close the gap just after halftime as Brett Anderson was taken out as he chased a Cronk kick down the touchline. Williams was binned for ten minutes for what referee Ben Cummins deemed to be a professional foul.

Melbourne failed to take advantage of the one-man overlap but when parity was restored they again gave the Eels a fright with Manu getting his second of the afternoon after Sam Joe had tapped back a Cronk bomb.

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