Brisbane's Smith keeps Eels at bay - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Brisbane's Smith keeps Eels at bay

By Laine Clark 19/06/2004 09:51:45 PM Comments (0)

Two second-half tries by veteran comeback king Darren Smith helped Brisbane hold off a spirited Parramatta side and clinch a 34-24 National Rugby League win at Parramatta Stadium.

Answering an SOS by an injury-hit Broncos, 35-year-old Smith was borrowed from Queensland Cup side Brisbane Easts and started at lock for Brisbane in his first NRL game in two years.

Smith also found himself in the same situation on the last Kangaroos tour, moving from English club St Helens to a depleted Australian side to gain a surprise and controversial Test berth.

Smith was again in the right place at the right time, benefiting from Darren Lockyer kicks to score in the 47th and 67th minutes to keep the Eels at bay.

Brisbane winger Craig Frawley delivered the knockout punch when he crashed down the left sideline in the 77th minute, ending Parramatta's two-game winning run.

Adding to Parramatta's woes, playmaker Adam Dykes was taken to hospital for X-rays on a serious rib injury suffered in a 42nd minute tackle.

Brisbane led 12-0 after 14 minutes but tries by Wade McKinnon and Luke Burt in nine minutes locked up the scores before the Broncos kicked clear 18-12 at the main break thanks to a Michael De Vere four-pointer in the 38th minute.

The second half started disastrously for the Eels when Dykes was taken off the field in a medicab and utility Dean Widders suffered a head gash.

Parramatta's pain was compounded by a Smith try seven minutes after the break but that only ushered in another Eels revival.

Winger Ashley Graham crossed in the 57th minute and Widders in the 64th to lock up the scores at 24-24.

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