Media Reports

Parramatta Eels defeat Wests Tigers 26-18 at Sydney Football Stadium
By Ian McCullough
August 21, 2009 Parramatta have seen off Wests Tigers 26-18 at the Sydney Football Stadium on Friday night to register their sixth consecutive NRL win.

Tigers five-eighth Benji Marshall set the tone with a moment of genius after 18 minutes when he sold the Eels defence an outrageous dummy before producing a flick pass to Blake Ayshford who dived over.

The Tigers, who went into the game on the back of six straight wins themselves, dominated the opening exchanges and scored their second four-pointer two minutes later when Beau Ryan reached over to score in the corner.

The Eels dragged themselves back into the game with a sustained spell of pressure and were rewarded with an eight-point try after Bryce Gibbs slid into Luke Burt’s back with his knee as the Parramatta winger scored in the 29th minute.

Gibbs was put on report and with usual goalkicker Burt unable to kick, Krisnan Inu booted over the two conversions to level the score.

The Eels came charging out of the blocks in the second half with Inu scoring his sixth try of the season after latching onto a long pass from Jarryd Hayne five minutes after the re-start.

And it was Hayne once again who brought the blue and gold contingent at the SFS to their feet with a stunning 50-metre run after taking possession of a high kick from the impressive young Tigers halfback Robert Lui and then embarking on a weaving run.

That burst from Hayne seemed to wake the Tigers up from their slumber and led to another wonderful try finished this time by John Morris that closed the gap to two points.

But with the Tigers looking to be in the ascendancy, the Eels hit back with an impressive try of their own, kickstarted by the returning Feleti Mateo who threw the first of five flick passes from five different players before Jeff Robson barged over.

The Tigers hit back once again on 71 minutes with Ryan grabbing his second try of the night after good work from Robbie Farah.

Marshall then kicked his first conversion of the game to once more close the gap to two points.

But fittingly, Hayne had the last word with a try that oozed brilliance.

With the Tigers on the attack, the Eels regained possession and with Haynes popping up with the ball in his hands 30 metres from goal, he chipped over the top of a static Tigers backline to regather and score.

Hayne leads Eels past Tigers
August 21, 2009 - 10:01PM

Tigers 18 Eels 26

Parramatta have seen off Wests Tigers 26-18 at the Sydney Football Stadium on Friday night to register their sixth consecutive NRL win, stamping themselves as the smoking gun of the competition in the process.

If the NRL wants to showcase anything that is great about the league they should show a DVD of the thrilling match-up between two sides that don’t do dull.

A noisy, passionate local derby was played in front of a bumper crowd of almost 35,000 with some of the best young talent playing at the top of their game and producing technical ability of the highest order.

Tigers five-eighth Benji Marshall set the tone with a moment of genius after 18 minutes when he sold the Eels defence an outrageous dummy before producing a flick pass to Blake Ayshford who dived over.

The Tigers, who went into the game on the back of six straight wins themselves, dominated the opening exchanges and scored their second four-pointer two minutes later when Beau Ryan reached over to score in the corner.

The Eels dragged themselves back into the game with a sustained spell of pressure and were rewarded with an eight-point try after Bryce Gibbs slid into Luke Burt’s back with his knee as the Parramatta winger scored in the 29th minute.

Gibbs was put on report and with usual goalkicker Burt unable to kick, Krisnan Inu booted over the two conversions to level the score.

The Eels came charging out of the blocks in the second half with Inu scoring his sixth try of the season after latching onto a long pass from Jarryd Hayne five minutes after the re-start.

And it was Hayne once again who brought the blue and gold contingent at the SFS to their feet with a stunning 50-metre run after taking possession of a high kick from the impressive young Tigers halfback Robert Lui and then embarking on a weaving run.

That burst from Hayne seemed to wake the Tigers up from their slumber and led to another wonderful try finished this time by John Morris that closed the gap to two points.

But with the Tigers looking to be in the ascendancy, the Eels hit back with a stunning score of their own, kickstarted by the returning Feleti Mateo who threw the first of five flick passes from five different players before Jeff Robson barged over.

The Tigers hit back once again on 71 minutes with Ryan grabbing his second try of the night after good work from Robbie Farah.

Marshall then kicked his first conversion of the game to once more close the gap to two points.

But fittingly, Hayne had the last word with a try that oozed brilliance.

With the Tigers on the attack, the Eels regained possession and with Haynes popping up with the ball in his hands 30 metres from goal, he chipped over the top of a static Tigers backline to regather and score.

The Eels move into sixth with the win while the Tigers are seventh.

EELS BEAT GUTSY WESTS TIGERS 26-18
By Wayne Cousins
Friday, August 21, 2009
Wests Tigers’ six game winning streak came to an end with a 26-18 loss to the Parramatta Eels at the Sydney Football Stadium tonight in round 24 of the Telstra Premiership.

In front of a record crowd of 34, 272 - the biggest Sydney crowd of the season - Wests Tigers gave it their all. Their cause was not helped by the early loss of winger Taniela Tuiaki, who has a suspected fractured ankle.

The loss leaves Wests Tigers on 26 points, one behind Parramatta, with two rounds remaining.

Wests Tigers forward John Skandalis made a shock return from a quad injury to take his place on the bench.

Keith Galloway started the game with Danny Galea dropping back to the interchange bench.

For Parramatta, Ben Smith started the game in the second row to replace Joe Galuvao, who goes back to the bench. Feliti Mateo replaced Jeremy Latimore on the bench.

The opening five minutes saw both sides start the match well in a match played in front of a massive crowd.

Parramatta has thrown plenty at Wests Tigers in the opening 15 minutes but the defence has been solid.

Wests Tigers entered Parramatta’s quater for the first time in the 16th minute but a grubber kick through on the last for full-back Tim Moltzen was fielded under the posts.

Wests Tigers winger Taniela Tuiaki grasped his right ankle in the 18th minute in a two man tackle and sought treatment from trainer Andrew Leeds. He was assisted from the field by two trainers.

Utility John Morris replaced Tuiaki, resuklting in centre Blake Ayshford moving to the left wing and Morris going to the centres.

A piece of Benji Marshall magic in the 20th minute saw Ayshford score in the left corner in a play that had Wests Tigers supporters clapping. The video referee was called on and the try was awarded.

It was a superb piece of play by Marshall who fllicked the ball behind his back after he brushed off an attempted tackle by centre Joel Reddy and dummied to centre Chris Lawrence.

Marshall failed to convert the try for a 4-0 lead.

Video referee Paul Simpkins was again called on in the 22nd minute to rule whether winger Beau Ryan had put a foot on the line in scoring after an acrossfield run by Marshall. Ryan was treated for a left knee injury.

The try was awarded ‘benefit of the doubt’ to give Wests Tigers an 8-0 lead. Ryan got up and returned to the field of play. Marshall failed to convert the try.

Wests Tigers club doctor Donald Kuah said Tuiaki has a possible fractured ankle.

Parramatta hit back in the 29th minute when full-back Jarryd Hayne found space out wide to link up with winger Luke Burt to scpre out wide.
Referee Jared Maxwell placed prop Bryce Gibbs on report for using his knees in diving in on Burt after he scored, awarding an eight point try.
Inu converted the try for an 8-6 scoreline before moving in front of the posts to convert the penalty try for an 8-8 scoreline.

A break downfield by Marshall and a good offload to forward Corey Payne saw him race downfield before referee Tony Archer ruled a forward pass from Payne to Morris. As play went on, Morris was hit high in a tackle by Hayne but no action was taken.

Hayne produced a 40/20 kick on the last tackle to give Parramatta the scrum feed 10 metres out a minute out before half-time. Wests Tigers dug deep in defence and a drop ball five metres out inside the final 10 seconds was swooped on by half-back Robert Lui.

Lui raced 50 metres downfield before being swamped by four defenders on the halfway line to leave the scores locked at 8-8 at half-time.

2nd Half
Parramatta opened the scoring in the second half when the ball was spread right for Inu to beat Lui to score in the corner. Inu converted the try from the sideline for a 14-8 lead after 47 minutes.

The crowd figure of 34, 272 is the biggest Sydney crowd this season, eclipsing the 31, 664 figure for the Bulldogs v Eels match. Wests Tigers’ previous biggest crowd was 29, 970 set against Souths at the SCG earlier this season.

Gibbs pulled off a trysaving tackle on Hayne in the 53rd minute and then seeked rreatment but got up to play on.

Wests Tigers got back to 14-12 with 23 minutes remaining after they decided to run the ball on the last tackle. The ball was spread left across the backline for stand-in winger John Morris to dive over in the corner.

Marshall failed to convert the try.

A short pass by prop Fuifui Moimoi sawe Hayne make a break down the middle before losing the ball 10 metres out from the tryline.

The Eels extended their lead through a try to half-back Jeff Robson after Parramatta managed to make seven offloads after Feliti Mateo started the play. Inu converted the try for a 20-12 lead with 13 minutes remaining.

Wests Tigers hit back in the 71st minute when a cut out pass by hooker Robbie Farah found Ryan who raced downfield before looking to pass inside but found his way to the corner where he planted the ball down before it bounced. The video referee was called upon who ruled try through ‘benefit of the doubt’ to make it 20-16.

Marshall converted the try from the sideline for a 20-18 scoreline with eight minutes remaining.

A long cut out pass by Marshall found open space for Lawrence but the pass was ruled forward by Archer in a cruel blow for the Wests Tigers.

Wests Tigers were delivered a knock blow when a chip kick on the last tackle by Hayne saw the ball bounce up. He grasp the ball within an inch of Moltzen to regather to run next to the posts to score. Inu converted the try for a 26-18 victory.

Genius Jarryd cashes in chip
Glenn Jackson | August 22, 2009

Wests Tigers 18 Eels 26

UM … what do you say about that? Magic, madness and more magic. Take your pick of the flicks, served with chips, in the highlights package - which will be long.

How often do you find the most hyped occasions end in anti-climax? But this was no Star Wars III. Scrap the think tank for the next NRL ad. Just play this on high-rotation. Or just show Jarryd Hayne, whose chip and chase clinched the result. To the neutral at least, and no doubt the Parramatta faithful, it was the perfect end to a perfect night.

There was magic elsewhere. None of the offloads in Jeff Robson’s 65th-minute try were as good as Benji Marshall’s first-half effort, but in quantity they beat quality. Five wonderful balls in the one magestic movement. The night also gave us another audacious, bodacious piece of Benji brilliance, which may even be the longest lasting of the highlights; a flick which brought back memories of his effort in the 2005 decider. Only it was better. The only difference was that it couldn’t give his opposition the flick on this occasion.

The Eels powered on, thanks in part to their own wizard in Hayne, who chipped and chased after 73 minutes and just had too much pace and panache for the Tigers, but also due to their ability to repel and repel and finally rev themselves up.

It is something of a shame that Marshall’s magic did not have more impact on the result, but it won’t dilute it much. A double-dummy and flick to Blake Ayshford for the Tigers’ first try: a high degree of difficulty, that one, but somehow he pulled it off.

Bryce Gibbs’s first-half penalty try would have more impact on the result, letting the Eels back into the contest in one play and giving Hayne and his men a sniff.

Of course, this game was built for brilliance, custom-made for a cracker. Parramatta are truly a strange being. It is one of life’s great mysteries - like how there is less of Magda Szubankski but we are seeing more of her - that the Eels are where they are now after the way they played earlier in the season. Or maybe the mystery is how a side with so much talent, and the football they have played during their run has proved there is a fair bit of that, has played like that earlier in the season.

And then there is the Tigers, a team which can look beautiful and bad within the same play. And, certainly, the same season.

Both these sides have shaken off their inconsistencies in recent weeks but something had to give. Unfortunately, the first thing that did was Taniela Tuiaki’s ankle.

Both sides softened each other up in the opening quarter, with neither able to break through the other’s line with great success. Then, after 18 minutes, Tuiaki brought the ball back in from a kick but was caught awkwardly in the tackle under the weight of a couple of Parramatta defenders. He limped off with the help of the medical staff and the Tigers hopes looked slightly limp as well without their top tryscorer. Well, limp for two minutes, anyway. Ayshford, who had switched to the left wing to replace Tuiaki, realised just why the big winger had scored so many tries this season when he was on the end of Benji’s brilliance.

Two minutes after that, the beauty continued. And this time, it was the player who can fit his own name in beauty; Beau Ryan, who found the tryline as his right toe found the sideline and was awarded the benefit of the doubt by video referee Paul Simpkins.

But the Tigers started faltering, and the Eels were able to level with the one play. For the second time in NRL football this year, a side was awarded a penalty after a try following Gibbs’s knees-first challenge on the try-scorer Luke Burt, who had taken advantage of Krisnan Inu’s wonderful centre play. Gibbs struck Burt in the back, and the Eels winger wriggled around in agony. But ecstasy for his teammates followed, as Inu converted both kicks at goal and Gibbs found himself on report.

The reign of Hayne is Benji’s pain and Parra’s gain
Jacquelin Magnay | August 22, 2009

BILLED as the round of the decade, this match of the round also featured the enticing match-up of the form players in the NRL: Wests Tigers’ Benji Marshall and Parramatta’s Jarryd Hayne.

So which of these unpredictable brilliant playmakers - the youngster Hayne at fullback or the more experienced Marshall at five-eighth - was the critical element in last night’s tense triumph by Parramatta?

In the first half Marshall won the battle by a knockout. In the second the decision went to Hayne. But while the creative geniuses weaved their magic on the field, Marshall’s conversion misses from difficult angles were an important factor.

In the first 10 minutes Marshall did all he could to prevent Hayne from getting the ball. His tactics involved a short kick-off, a kick for touch at the end of a set of six, a towering bomb at the end of another.

And when Hayne - in his red boots - collected a couple of kicks, Wests Tigers enforcers Keith Galloway and Todd Payten crunched him.

Hayne was uncharacteristically reluctant to throw himself on a loose ball at one point, allowing some Wests Tigers players the edge in a chase for the ball. But then Marshall was also a little slack in some of his efforts.

However, midway through the first half, fuelled with an abundance of possession, Marshall came into his element, with his confidence-boosting, flamboyant runs coming to the fore.

In the 19th minute Marshall found a gap down the short side. Seemingly able to score himself, he dodged, threw a huge dummy, then effected an astounding flick pass behind his back to winger Blake Ayshford as he was sidestepping his opponents.

The pass was so flat, slick and underhand, it was only when the slow-motion replays were broadcast to the large crowd that they appreciated Marshall’s phenomenal skill. Three minutes later he was on the other side of the field, orchestrating his team’s second try, drawing in the centre and passing a superb ball to the other winger, Beau Ryan.

Hayne tried hard, too hard, especially when Wests Tigers utility John Morris slipped away in the 34th minute. Hayne took on Morris, leading with his forearm in a nasty attack to Morris’s head, but Hayne ended up worse off, flat on his back.

It was something that the match review committee might refer to the judiciary. But just before half-time, Hayne redeemed himself with a superb 40-20 kick to give the Eels a shot at the try line.

In the second half, Hayne starred, sending a bullet-like, 25m pass for Krisnan Inu to score and then, with 15 minutes remaining, he was involved in a Parramatta try by Jeff Robson.

Both players didn’t let up all game. Late in the match, Marshall made a beautiful break to set up Morris, but his long, floating pass was controversially ruled forward. Then to rub salt into the wounds of the Tigers, in the final two minutes Hayne chipped audaciously over the top of the defence. It bounced perfectly for him and he sped away past Marshall to score near the posts.

Eels star turns heat back on accuser Ellis
Jacquelin Magnay and Glenn Jackson | August 22, 2009

PARRAMATTA’S ace playmaker Jarryd Hayne risks the wrath of the NRL judiciary on two fronts and could be sidelined for the critical lead-in to the finals following the tense and bruising battle against Wests Tigers last night.

And in an astounding post-match taunt following a match littered with drama, Hayne accused one of his alleged Tigers victims of being a sore loser and of trying to grandstand for the cameras.

Both of the Hayne incidents related to using his elbow in tackles.

He could be in trouble for leading with his elbow in a tackle on John Morris in the first half. Morris had skipped away with only Hayne to beat, but just as the referee was calling back play for a forward pass, Hayne went in for a front-on charge, leading with his elbow bent. Parramatta coach Daniel Anderson said he didn’t see the play and couldn’t comment on it.

But it was an incident that

happened after the final siren that caused the most controversy. Hayne was being tackled by Tigers big man Gareth Ellis, who was underneath Hayne and pulling him down - but Hayne appeared to use his elbow to lay into Ellis during the motion.

Ellis said of the moment: ‘‘I tackled him and something hit me hard on the side of my head; I was laying on the floor, he swung his elbow, he’s landed on top of me.’’

When coach Tim Sheens was asked about Hayne’s tackle on Morris, the coach said he thought Hayne might also be in trouble for ‘‘a forearm, something after the whistle - something happened’’.

The NRL match review committee will make its decision on Monday, leaving Hayne and the Parramatta club with an anxious wait over the weekend.

Hayne, though, was nonplussed, turning the heat back on Ellis, ensuring the dramatic match had a fiery aftermath.

‘‘The hooter was gone and he tried to slam me to the ground,’’ Hayne said. ''It was his fault. I didn’t do anything intentional. It was pretty stupid from him. They lost the game - it’s no use trying to throw me to the ground. That’s not going to get you any points.

‘‘He took it a bit overboard. I don’t know what happened. I was on the ground afterwards and I was like, ‘What are you doing to me here?’ He’s a bit of a bad sport. The hooter had gone, and he tried to slam me to the ground. I just sort of fell on top of him.’’

Asked if he felt he had anything to worry about when it came to the match review committee, Hayne said: ‘‘I don’t think so. He might have just been playing up for the cameras. There was nothing there.’’

The match was not without its controversy. Parramatta were awarded an eight-point try after Tigers prop Bryce Gibbs slid in and kneed winger Luke Burt in the back, dragging the Eels back from an 8-0 deficit to level terms.

‘‘He was more trying to pull out of it,’’ Sheens said. ‘‘It was a big call.’’

His counterpart, though, was convinced the penalty was appropriate. ‘‘It was knees in the back - accidental, but still it’s a foul after the try,’’ Anderson said. ‘‘I thought it was an eight-point try right from the get-go.’’

Eight-point tries are unusual, although Burt’s was the second this year in the NRL. Dragons five-eighth Jamie Soward was recently penalised for a high kick to the head of the try-scoring Storm player Greg Inglis.

Hayne said last night’s match was ‘‘Origin-like’’ in its intensity, while Anderson added: ‘‘The boys were knackered in the dressing room. I haven’t seen them as distressed physically after a game as they are right now.’’

Still, Eels skipper Nathan Cayless admitted his side still had improvement left in them despite the remarkable nature of the match.

‘‘We played pretty dumb, but we just kept turning up,’’ Cayless said.

‘‘They made a couple of breaks late in the game, but we had four or five guys there all the time. Our attitude in defence was really good, and it needed to be, because they can play a lot of footy - and Benji [Marshall] is playing out of his skin at the moment.’’

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