Eels slip past Knights - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Eels slip past Knights

By Laine Clark 05/06/2004 09:24:31 PM Comments (0)

Finally Parramatta coach Brian Smith has something to smile about.

After enduring five straight losses that sparked calls from his own fans to sack him, Smith finally got that winning feeling when Parramatta sealed a remarkable come from behind 18-16 NRL win over the Knights at Newcastle.

It looked like it was going to be another long week for Smith when Newcastle halfback Kurt Gidley crossed in the 72nd minute and converted to make it 16-12 to the hosts.

However Gidley went from hero to villain when his pass was intercepted by Eels winger Ashley Graham who ran 70m to get Parramatta near the Knights' line with just two minutes left on the clock.

Then Parramatta shocked the majority of the 18,331-strong crowd when Adam Dykes put through a grubber for centre Luke Burt to score in the final minute and notch the Eels' first win in Newcastle since 1999.

Smith arrived at EnergyAustralia Stadium a man under immense pressure after his side crashed to five straight losses when they were thumped 33-6 by the Wests Tigers last weekend.

He responded by making 12 positional changes to his Eels outfit.

Adding to the pressure, Eels fans were planning a protest rally calling for Smith's head at Parramatta's home ground next round.

But that may change now that Parramatta has notched just its fourth win at Newcastle in 14 matches since 1988.

After trailing 10-0 at halftime, an enthusiastic Eels responded well when halfback Dykes finished off a 65m movement by scoring near the posts in the 46th minute.

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