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Easts Execute Comeback Victory Over Eels

The Sydney Roosters have cemented their spot at the top of the Jersey Flegg ladder with an impressive 30-16 triumph over the Parramatta Eels at St Mary’s Leagues Stadium on Sunday afternoon.

Having trailed by 10 points after just 20 minutes, the Tricolours bravely fought their way back into the contest to record their second comeback victory in as many weeks.

Advancing upfield with a kick for touch, the Roosters came close to opening the scoring just six minutes in as Caleb Tohi played a short ball to Jake Elliott, but a desperate tackle from Parramatta kept the home side out.

Shortly after, the Eels capitalised on a Roosters error deep in their own half as Ethan Sanders threw a perfect cut-out ball to Matthew Komolafe who beat the cover defence to the corner.

With Parramatta on the attack, they looked likely to extend their lead when a grubber towards the in-goal took a deflection and sat up in front of two oncoming Eels. Fortunately, Elliott found himself in the right place at the right time to snatch the ball and take a tackle in the in-goal.

Following the goal line drop-out, the visitors found a way around Easts’ defence with quick hands through the backline, as fullback Te Hurinui Twidle delivered a pass to Richard Penisini who sent Ethyn Martin over in the corner with a slick catch-and-pass. Sanders converted for a 10-point lead.

Advancing the ball upfield after a penalty, the Tricolours finally opened their account with a stunning try through the middle as Sione Vaenuku exploded through a gap and found Tohi in support, who dived over under the posts. Vaiala Tamati converted from in-front to make it 10-6 at the break.

In the first minute of the second half, Easts burst through a gap as Benaiah Ioelu offloaded to a charging Tohi, making significant metres for his side. A couple of plays later, they managed to take the lead with Jack Smith tip toeing around defenders and burrowing under would-be tacklers to score. Tamati converted from in-front to give the Roosters a two-point lead.

With the Eels taking hit-ups to fight their way out of their own end, Ioelu pounced on an error from the visitors and found Jordan Swann looming on his outside who crossed the stripe untouched. Tamati converted successfully to put them beyond a converted try margin.

Following a high attacking bomb in the corner, Parramatta allowed the Roosters to catch the ball, before dragging them over the sideline to secure a full set from close range. They capitalised on the field position, with Penisini getting an offload away to Sanders who sent Martin over for his second try with a perfect long ball. Sanders converted from the sideline to bring it back to a two-point contest.

The Red, White, and Blue hit back just five minutes later, with a perfectly-executed set piece seeing Kyron Fekitoa draw in defenders with a decoy run which gave Owen Flaherty just enough time to catch and pass to Tavita Henare-Schuster who dove spectacularly into the corner. Tamati converted from the sideline to give his side a 24-16 lead with eight minutes remaining.

With the Roosters back on the attack just minutes later, they opted to take the two after a penalty was awarded from in-front of the posts for not clearing the ruck. Tamati kicked the goal successfully for a 10-point advantage.

To put an exclamation mark on the performance, the home side found another try with a stunning spiral pass from Elliott to Tamati who fended off two defenders on his way to the try line to conclude the match with a 30-16 triumph. 

Sydney Roosters 30 (Caleb Tohi, Jack Smith, Jordan Swann, Tavita Henare-Schuster, Vaiala Tamati tries; Vaiala Tamati 5 goals) def Parramatta Eels 16 (Matthew Komolafe, Ethyn Martin 2 tries, Ethan Sanders 2 goals).

Acknowledgement of Country

Sydney Roosters respect and honour the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.