Eels beat Warriors in NZ - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Eels beat Warriors in NZ

Dale Budge 12/03/2011 10:20:16 PM Comments (0)

Parramatta overcome the hostile Eden Park crowd to beat the Warriors 24-18 in their NRL season opener in Auckland.

Despite going into the match as rank outsiders, new coach Stephen Kearney's era at Parramatta got off to a perfect start as his side upstaged the pre-game favourites four tries to three.

The Eels may only be a season removed from a grand final appearance but gone was the flamboyance of 2009, replaced with a more methodical and intelligent style of football employed under Kearney's guidance.

The Eels preyed on Warriors mistakes and employed a simple philosophy of holding onto possession and using fullback Jarryd Hayne's huge boot to turn the Warriors around.

"I thought the lads' performance for a good 60 minutes was very good," Kearney said.

"It was a tough game but I wasn't expecting anything less from the Warriors, playing in front of a big crowd on home soil.

"They were never going to go away. It is always nice to get the reward but I was very pleased with the performance tonight."

The home side didn't get the rub of the green throughout the match with refereeing decisions but failed to react well to the adversity.

They suffered a massive blow when giant winger Manu Vatuvei limped from the field midway through the first spell with a knee injury after being tackled at full pace by his opposite Etu Uaisele.

The Warriors' best attacking weapon's knee buckled with the impact and his night was over.

Coach Ivan Cleary will await scan results on Sunday but is hoping that the injury isn't season-ending.

"We will have to wait until we get the scans tomorrow but it is a serious knee injury," Cleary said.

"We are hoping it is a medial ligament tear rather than something more serious.

"Whatever happens, he is going to be out for a while."

The Warriors never recovered from the loss of their Test winger with fullback Lance Hohaia and debutant winger Glen Fisiiahi botching a number of high kicks, which led to points.

"I must say, it wasn't something we had planned," Kearney said of the barrage of high balls.

"Jarryd (Hayne) has a pretty big strike on him and after the first one we thought we'd try another one.

"Another night they might catch them."

Discipline became an issue for the home side as well as them giving away a succession of silly penalties.

Five-eighth James Maloney was put on report for a blatantly early tackle on Hayne, which left the Test winger spread-eagled on the ground.

The contact wasn't high and it didn't place Hayne in a dangerous position, which might save him from further punishment.

While clearly unhappy with Maloney's attempt of contesting the ball, Cleary wasn't too worried about losing him to suspension.

Veteran Eels winger Luke Burt enjoyed a stellar night, scoring two tries and kicking four goals to collect a personal haul of 16 points. His 31st minute conversion also took him past 1,500 career points.

The Warriors scored twice in quick succession with 10 minutes remaining to give them a sniff of victory but the Eels held firm to secure the points and quieten the record 38,412 crowd.

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