NYC Eels claim Chad Robinson Cup
A late try to Denzal Tonise has handed the Eels a thrilling 30-28 come-from-behind win over the Roosters to consolidate their place in the Holden Cup top eight.
The Roosters led by eight with 10 minutes to play but couldn't hang on as the Eels rallied late to claim the inaugural Chad Robinson Cup.
The Parramatta captain, Tonise, got the Eels on the board with the No.9 burrowing over from dummy-half to give his side a 6-0 lead after nine minutes.
The Eels continued to have the better of the play and extended their lead through barnstorming winger Greg Leleisiuao who crashed over in the right corner after some nice work by Salesi Faingaa.
It didn't take long for the Tricolours to hit back with Nick O'Meley – son of former Bulldog and Rooster Mark O'Meley – reeling in a Sean O'Sullivan kick to score on his NYC debut.
Having struggled for the opening quarter, the Roosters soon found themselves level when a simple left-to-right shift ended up in the arms of Kenneth Koro who strolled over to make it 10-all after 30 minutes.
The comeback was complete five minutes before the break when fullback Adam Pompey claimed a bomb centimetres out from his own line, beat a couple of tacklers and then sprinted 99 metres to score a spectacular try only for Leleisiuao to hit back with the siren blaring in the background to lock things up at 16 points apiece.
It took just four minutes for the Roosters to re-establish their six-point advantage as some quick hands and a brilliant offload led to O'Meley's second of the afternoon.
Parramatta hit straight back through left winger John Fonua to pull within two points but were let stunned when O'Meley plucked an intercept and ran 70 metres to give the Roosters some much-needed breathing room.
Another try to Fonua kept things interesting and it looked as though the Eels would draw level when Leleisiuao broke into the backfield, only to be denied by some desperate defence to preserve the home side's slender 28-24 lead.
They wouldn't be denied two minutes from the end when Tonise charged over from close range to level the scores before Troy Dargan knocked over the simple conversion to seal the comeback win.
Eels 30 (Greg Leleisiuao 2, John Fonua 2, Denzal Tonise 2 tries; Troy Dargan 3 goals) def. Roosters 28 (Nick O'Meley 3, Kenneth Koro, Adam Pompey tries; Sean O'Sullivan 4 goals) at Allianz Stadium. Half-time: 16-all.
This article first appeared on NRL.COM