Results fall in favour of red-hot Eels - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Results fall in favour of red-hot Eels

By Ian Mccullough 02/08/2009 07:10:19 PM Comments (0)

With just five rounds of the NRL season remaining, Parramatta's unlikely push for a finals spot was boosted not only by their 30-0 win over Cronulla on Sunday, but also with the weekend's results all going in their favour.

With 10th-placed South Sydney losing 26-18 to the high-flying Bulldogs also on Sunday, ninth-placed Brisbane being humiliated 56-0 by Canberra and Newcastle, who hold the last finals spot, slumping to a shock 30-18 defeat at home to the lowly Sydney Roosters, round 21 was a good one for the Eels.

Daniel Anderson's side move up to 11th spot ahead of Wests Tigers, who host Manly on Monday, with 21 points, level with Souths, one point behind Brisbane and three behind the Knights, who they host next Sunday.

Souths were unable to capitalise on an 18-10 halftime lead against the Bulldogs at ANZ Stadium and with a run-in that includes trips to Manly and Penrith and home clashes with St George Illawarra and the Gold Coast, it will be a tough ask for Jason Taylor's men to make the top eight.

The Eels have a far more favourable run home, but with a vastly inferior for-and-against to both Souths and the Tigers, they will need a minimum of four wins if they are to have any genuine chance of progressing.

That, and the small matter of a trip to Kogarah to face St George Illawarra in round 26.

Penrith missed a golden chance to close the gap on fourth-placed Melbourne on Saturday against the Warriors, but showed great spirit to come back from 32-6 down to salvage a point after golden point extra time failed to split the sides at 32-all

The Dragons proved to be too strong for the Storm on Friday with a gritty 26-12 win, but Craig Bellamy's side showed enough in the 80 minutes to suggest they should not be written off just yet.

The Bulldogs' win over Souths consolidated second spot ahead of the Titans, who slumped to their first home defeat of the season to a North Queensland side who rediscovered their mojo at Skilled Park to move into sixth spot.

More pleasing for coach Neil Henry would have been the brilliant return to form of Matt Bowen, who bagged two tries, and Johnathan Thurston, who was back to his best, following two successive defeats for the Cowboys.

For Brisbane, Saturday's trip to Canberra was the lowest moment in the club's proud history as the Broncos slumped to their record loss to a Raiders side, that only a week earlier, were tamed by the travel-shy Tigers.

It was the Broncos' seventh defeat in eight games and their season is unravelling at a rate of knots.

Thankfully for under-fire coach Ivan Henjak, Cronulla visit Suncorp Stadium next week and if they can't beat a side battered by injuries and an inability to score tries then it will officially be crisis time at Red Hill.

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