Vatuvei's shocker helps Eels to easy win - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Vatuvei's shocker helps Eels to easy win

By Steve Jancetic 28/05/2007 10:37:14 PM Comments (0)

New Zealand Warriors coach Ivan Cleary refused to lay the blame on winger Manu Vatuvei after the hulking flyer almost singlehandedly gifted Parramatta a 30-6 NRL win.

Vatuvei had a shocker of a night with his hands, with three of his six errors leading directly to Parramatta tries, the Warriors now on a four-game losing streak.

The Eels confirmed their place in the top eight with the five tries to one win, the result all but confirmed on the hour when a Vatuvei fumble handed opposite winger Eric Grothe a try and the home side a 22-6 lead.

But Cleary refused to point the finger at Vatuvei.

"He wasn't Robinson Crusoe unfortunately," Cleary said.

"We have a lot of faith in him ... obviously it wasn't his night but he bounces back pretty well and I'm sure he'll come back better than this as well."

Eels winger Jarryd Hayne, who revived memories of his scorching Origin try with a four-pointer to open the scoring, sympathised with Vatuvei.

Hayne spoiled his Origin debut with a pass that led to Queensland's match-winning try.

"The pass I threw on Wednesday night, it puts you down and Vatuvei on a couple of occasions did a similar thing," Hayne said.

"You've just got to pick your head up and focus on next week.

"The quicker you get over it, the better for you and the team."

Clinging to a 12-6 halftime lead, the Eels kept the Warriors at arm's length when Daniel Wagon touched down six minutes after the restart.

Grothe then extended the lead to 16 points before another Vatuvei dropped ball allowed Nathan Cayless to go over for his second try of the year.

"They were probably the easiest 30 points Parramatta have scored this year," Warriors captain Steve Price said.

"They didn't really have to earn many of them."

After Hayne opened the scoring, Ben Smith crossed six minutes before the break when Vatuvei not once but twice missed a rolling grubber in his own in-goal.

The Eels have now won two in a row and next week face the in form Wests Tigers in another Monday night clash.

"We knew they'd come here pretty revved up coming off a couple of losses," Eels coach Michael Hagan said.

"To keep them to six points I think we handled the physical stuff real well."

The Warriors' only bright spot of the night came just before the break when veteran second-rower Logan Swann scored in the corner after Tony Martin had tapped back a Michael Witt bomb.

The only sour note for the Eels was another injury to star centre Timana Tahu who was forced from the field in the 50th minute with a recurrence of a hamstring strain.

Tahu was only just making his comeback after three weeks on the sideline, but Hagan said the Eels' medical staff were confident that the latest injury would only sideline the former Test winger for one match at the most.

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