Waqa Blake sparks the Eels to victory

The Fijian international Waqa Blake came back to haunt his old side and spark the Eels to a 16-10 win in the Battle of the West at Bankwest Stadium.

A barnstorming effort from former Panther,  Blake in the 62nd minute started a three-try onslaught in a five-minute period after the Eels had trailed 10-0 with a quarter of the match remaining.

The Fijian international broke the line again shortly to lay on another for skipper Clint Gutherson to level the scores and bring the 507 fans allowed into the ground back to life after a sluggish opening 60 minutes.

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“Waqa turned the game and I was really happy for him up against his old club,” Eels coach Brad Arthur said.

“He works extremely hard, it was a nice fend and nice try. It gave us a touch more energy and confidence on the back of it.”

The remarkable change in momentum, further aided by a tremendous run from Nathan Brown on the previous play, brought about Parramatta’s third through Ryan Matterson from a Mitchell Moses kick which bounced horribly for Panthers fullback Caleb Aekins.

The Panthers had a chance to send the game into golden point on the full-time siren but the Eels held on to secure their best start to a campaign since the club’s last premiership season in 1986.

Reagan Campbell-Gillard made his presence felt early against his former club with a monster hit on James Fisher-Harris but the Panthers repelled any further shots from the home side to deliver a 10-0 lead at half-time.

In a concern for the Eels, Kane Evans was placed on report for an alleged ‘chicken wing’ effort on Liam Martin. The match review committee will on Saturday decide whether a charge will eventuate.

Eels power home to take honours in epic battle of the west

Former Panther Waqa Blake came back to haunt his old side and spark the Eels to a 16-10 win in the Battle of the West at Bankwest Stadium.

A barnstorming effort from Blake in the 62nd minute started a three-try onslaught in a five-minute period after the Eels had trailed 10-0 with a quarter of the match remaining.

The Fijian international broke the line again shortly to lay on another for skipper Clint Gutherson to level the scores and bring the 507 fans allowed into the ground back to life after a sluggish opening 60 minutes.

“Waqa turned the game and I was really happy for him up against his old club,” Eels coach Brad Arthur said.

“He works extremely hard, it was a nice fend and nice try. It gave us a touch more energy and confidence on the back of it.”

The remarkable change in momentum, further aided by a tremendous run from Nathan Brown on the previous play, brought about Parramatta’s third through Ryan Matterson from a Mitchell Moses kick which bounced horribly for Panthers fullback Caleb Aekins.

The Panthers had a chance to send the game into golden point on the full-time siren but the Eels held on to secure their best start to a campaign since the club’s last premiership season in 1986.

Reagan Campbell-Gillard made his presence felt early against his former club with a monster hit on James Fisher-Harris but the Panthers repelled any further shots from the home side to deliver a 10-0 lead at half-time.

In a concern for the Eels, Kane Evans was placed on report for an alleged ‘chicken wing’ effort on Liam Martin. The match review committee will on Saturday decide whether a charge will eventuate.

In an earlier match, Warriors beat the Cowboys 37-26.

[Source: NRL]


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