Eels stun Knights in 20-18 upset - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Eels stun Knights in 20-18 upset

07/06/2009 04:51:02 PM Comments (0)

Parramatta coach Daniel Anderson doubted whether rookie five-eighth Daniel Mortimer was ready for NRL football.

He doesn't anymore.

Mortimer capped his sudden rise to the NRL by setting up the match-winner in the 73rd minute with a superb chip and chase that resulted in Fuifui Moimoi's first try of the year.

The 19-year-old son of Bulldogs great Peter Mortimer was named man of the match in just his second NRL game as the Eels turned on the flair to stun Newcastle 20-18 at EnergyAustralia Stadium on Sunday and claim their fourth win of 2009.

Handed his debut after the club released Brett Finch and then lost Kris Keating (jaw) and Feleti Mateo (bicep) to serious injuries, Mortimer feels fortunate to be playing first grade and says his decisive play was simply a reaction to a poor pass.

"I'm kind of the Steven Bradbury of rugby league, everyone in front of me just falls over," Mortimer told AAP.

"(The chip and chase) was kind of a reaction. If the ball was on my chest I wouldn't have done it.

"It was on my boots and I saw the gap there and just decided to kick it. Me and Fui will say it was a set move."

Anderson said he wasn't sure if Mortimer was ready for the NRL, but was pleased to see the teenager prove him wrong so early in his career.

"I was not sure if he was ready when he started first grade," said Anderson.

"But players always surprise you and he has been able to do that."

Mortimer's play came when the Eels led 14-12 after a controversial decision by referees Gavin Badger and Brett Suttor two minutes earlier to give the Eels a penalty 15m out directly in front of the posts after ruling support player Kevin Kingston had been taken out by Marvin Karawana.

Newcastle coach Brian Smith accepted the decision, but questioned where the penalty was awarded.

Anderson was just pleased his side finally got a 50-50 call.

"It would have been an injustice if we lost the game," said Anderson.

Knights playmaker Jarrod Mullen did his best to get his side over the line, setting up first half tries to Keith Lulia and Junior Sau for a 12-6 halftime lead.

Eels halfback Jeff Robson levelled the game when he scored off his own deflected grubber shortly after the break while Luke Burt's penalty goal and then Moimoi's try gave Parramatta a 20-12 lead.

Mullen scored his own individual try in the 75th minute to reduce the deficit to just two points with five minutes to play but the Knights ran out of time, ending their nine-game winning streak at home.

"We were below our best, maybe that's because the opposition made us that way," said Smith.

"The best team certainly won the game ... I thought we were a bit fortunate to be in the game at the back end."

In further bad news for the Knights halfback Scott Dureau suffered a groin strain and could miss up to six weeks, while forward Chris Houston has both ankle ligament and medial knee ligament injuries and will have scans on Monday.

Brought to you by AAP AAP © 2024 AAP

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