Parramatta damn near defended their way into the blue and gold record books, only for the Roosters to flex their premiership muscle without James Tedesco in a brutal 24-10 win.
As the Eels chased the first 6-0 start to a season in 73 years, their gutsy denials of a rampant Tricolours outfit at one point looked headed for a famous Parramatta win.
Instead it was the back-to-back premiers with plenty of grit themselves, recovering from the loss of Tedesco under the Fijian freight train Maika Sivo to laugh last.
There was serious concern for Tedesco in the 58th minute after Sivo steamrolled the Dally M medallist, with the Roosters No.1 not moving for several minutes after being run over enroute to a critical Eels try.
Sivo tramples over Tedesco
Tedesco eventually rose and walked from the field with a definite headache, but at least under his own steam.
From there though the Roosters drove home with the class of proven winners, Boyd Cordner scoring soon after to turn a 10-8 deficit into a four-point lead.
A high shot from Nathan Brown on Victor Radley will likely have repercussions for the Eels enforcer with the Match Review Committee.
A penalty goal from that incident, and then the 69th-minute sin-binning of Michael Jennings, saw Kyle Flanagan calmly slot points from the tee that put the premiers out of reach.
"I think they were too professional for us at the end," Eels coach Brad Arthur said, pinpointing the Roosters' blitz after the Sivo try as the turning point.
"It was one set, we had all the momentum, it was one set there and we went outside our systems in defence.
"They went straight through and scored, and from there they just starved us of possession."
Match: Roosters v Eels
Round 6 -
Venue: Bankwest Stadium, Sydney
Both these sides will feature come finals time, and they put on a high-octane contest worthy of post-season billing.
Trent Robinson took particular pride in the Roosters ability to ride out the Eels' sustained assaults as the likes of Daniel Tupou (cork) and Jake Friend (shoulder) played through pain.
First-up contacts were physical. It's what you expect when you go toe-to-toe you're going to get some casualties, and I thought the boys did well," Robinson said.
"I thought after Teddy went off we adjusted there and came up with some critical plays.
"We had to dig in tonight for longer periods, we haven't had as much as practice as [Parramatta].
"They've had some really tough games... we haven't had a tight one since Souths so that was a good response."
That Parramatta remained in it for so long was a credit to their own desperate defence in the first 40.
Not that they helped themselves with seven first-half errors.
But with the Roosters repeatedly turned away despite throwing plenty at Parramatta, their 8-0 half-time lead was a credit to the challengers.
Despite the Eels having to make 215 first-half tackles, Brett Morris was the only Rooster to get past them in the 20th minute, courtesy of a dribbling Tedesco pass out to his right flank.
Former teammate Blake Ferguson provided one of Parramatta's few first-half chances, only to find himself unceremoniously dumped into touch with his first attempt at the corner, then instantly denied for tackling Daniel Tupou in the air.
Instead it was another familiar face out Bondi way to eventually turn the tables, with ex-Rooster Michael Jennings touching down in the 43rd minute.
Tupou try seals the win for the Roosters
Having defended themselves to a standstill, the Eels found Joey Manu wanting with a flimsy effort as Jennings sped past from close range.
The Roosters themselves then muscled up, but would've needed an elephant gun to halt Sivo when they came calling again down the left.
Instead the Tricolours went to another level in attack and Parramatta's discipline slipped in turn.
With Flanagan's three penalties the premiers had their breathing room.
And when Josh Morris exploited a left edge overlap to put Tupou over in the 75th minute, they had another two competition points.
Parramatta still have a lead atop the NRL ladder.
But the Roosters retain premiership favouritism, showing the Eels exactly what it will take to end their 33-year title drought.