What: NRL Round 9
80 MINUTES IN 80 SECONDS
The writing was on the Sharks’ wall from the get-go when Jeff Robson dropped the kick-off.
Parramatta scored a few minutes later through Semi Radradra and the points just kept coming. The Sharks responded with back-to-back four pointers, the second showcasing some excellent soccer skills from Wade Graham to make it 12-4.
Maybe the Shire boys were going to get it together after all despite the dodgy start.
Jarryd Hayne got the Eels going in the 21st minute, beating four defenders in a scintillating run to the line in which he beat four defenders.
A Chris Sandow chip and regather pushed the Eels further ahead before Ken Sio touched down for Parra’s fourth and a 22-12 half-time lead.
The Eels went further ahead through a Will Hopoate try nine minutes in the second half and it looked as though they would run away with it.
The Sharks did come again to narrow the gap to 10 but a 90m intercept try to Willie Tonga appeared to kill the comeback dead.
Cronulla stayed in the contest with a 68th minute try to Michael Gordon but the Eels swamped them late to claim the Johnny Mannah Cup.
WHO KILLED IT?
Chris Sandow has been to hell and back but the little fella’s redemption is a joy to behold.
He scored a brilliant chip chase try, set up a couple more four pointers, put in a 40-20 and kicked five goals.
WHO STANK IT UP?
Cronulla were never known as the flashiest side in town but you always rely on them to slog it out and make life difficult for the opposition.
Not so these days.
They tried hard – none more so than Paul Gallen – but leaking 42 points is ordinary any way you look at it.
2015 can’t come quickly enough.
WHAT DO I NEED TO KNOW?
They say bad luck comes in threes and you’d get no argument there from Laurie Daley.
He was just coming to terms with the Mitchell Pearce drama when news came through that Greg Bird could miss the entire Origin series through suspension.
Hours later Loz was headed to group counselling after watching Andrew Fifita limp out of this game.
The explosive forward returned to the sidelines on crutches with his right ankle heavily strapped.
He was later sent to Westmead Hospital for scans and could be out for anywhere between two weeks and two months after suffering a suspected syndesmosis injury.
We thought there was a new rule allowing a team to take a quick tap straight off a 40-20.
Obviously the refs haven’t caught up with the change. Chris Sandow pulled off a 40-20 late in the first half and the Eels charged down field attempting a quick tap.
With virtually no opposition in front of them, Parra twice tried a quick tap only to be pulled back.
Then we had the Will Hopoate no try.
We’re not sure where the ball was placed if not on the turf beyond the try-line, but maybe we’re missing something.
At least it didn’t cost the Eels victory. This time.
LOOK OUT UP AHEAD
The Eels are home to Benji and the Dragons on Saturday, with the Sharks taking on the Tigers at Remondis Stadium.
Tries: Sio 2, Hayne 2, Radradra, Sandow, Hopoate, Tonga
Goals: Sandow 5
Tries: Feki, Graham, De Gois, Gordon
Goals: Gordon 4