NRL 2024, Parramatta Eels v Manly Sea Eagles, match report, Round 3, scores, highlights, statistics, analysis

The Eels overcame a flying start from the Sea Eagles to emerge 28-24 winners in a Sunday afternoon shootout at CommBank Stadium. 

Down 14-0 after as many minutes, things were looking ominous for Parramatta before they turned things around and went on a run which saw them outscore Manly 28-4 over the next 46 minutes.

While Mitchell Moses and Dylan Brown put on a playmaking clinic – with the former laying on three tries and Brown one – it all came on the back of an inspirational showing from Reagan Campbell-Gillard and Junior Paulo’s game-changing introduction from the bench on 23 minutes.  

In his 200th NRL game ‘RCG’ ran for 102 metres and made 21 tackles, while Paulo brought a different pace to the game when he came on and set up his side’s second try with a clever offload to Moses. 

Mitchell Moses Try

As they fell to their first defeat of the year, Manly were made to pay for coughing up 13 errors and failing to build on an incredible start which saw them kick an early penalty and then score twice in quick succession. 

A break that started with Reuben Garrick ended with Tom Trbojevic dotting down, before Jaxson Paulo got over six minutes later, but momentum started to change upon Will Penisini’s try off a Mitchell Moses kick. 

Moses scored next before Blaize Talagi powered over a last-ditch tackle from Tom Trbojevic for a try on debut, which came much to the delight of the bus load of family and friends who turned up to support the 19-year-old centre.

Blaize Talagi Try

While Garrick’s try in the final seconds of the half gave the Sea Eagles a 18-16 advantage at the break, three minutes into the second period the Eels were back in front after Morgan Harper got on the end of a perfectly floated pass from Brown. 

A quick shovel on from Moses then put Kelma Tuilagi over on 59 minutes, with a Clint Gutherson penalty eight minutes later stretching the lead to 10. 

After having an earlier effort ruled out by the Bunker for obstruction, Corey Waddell danced his way down the short side to give Manly a sniff with eight to play, but a last-minute Hail Mary kick from Luke Brooks was spilled by Tom Trbojevic, ending any chance of late drama. 

Match Snapshot

  • In an entertaining clash the two sides came up with a combined 10 line breaks and 52 tackle breaks. 
  • Manly’s Josh Aloiai went on report for a shoulder charge on the final minute and was then sent to the sin bin for his role in a scuffle in the aftermath. 

Aloiai sin binned on full time

  • Eels prop Reagan Campbell-Gillard celebrated his 200th NRL game in the win. 
  • The Eels have now won four of their past five games against Manly.
  • Manly winger Jaxson Paulo has now scored eight tries in seven games against the Eels.

Jaxson Paulo Try

  • The Eels have won nine of their past 11 games at CommBank Stadium.
  • With his try right on half-time Reuben Garrick hit 1000 career points for the Sea Eagles. 

Play of the Game

A brilliant try created by a coast-to-coast passing movement followed by some individual brilliance from Reuben Garrick, who broke free down the right and burned the defence for speed before producing a lovely kick back in field. Tom Trbojevic won the race to score, but it could have been any of three Sea Eagles players who touched the ball down in the end. 

Tom Trbojevic Try

What They Said

“It’s a good lesson for us around how important field position and possession are; we didn’t have much of either. I thought the start of the game was as good as we have been in my time here, but on the flipside, we were quite clunky and gave away a number of penalties and made some errors and put some pressure on ourselves.” – Sea Eagles coach Anthony Seibold. 

Sea Eagles: Round 3

“They were just tough. They showed a really good level of resilience, and it reflected the bloke we were playing for, Reg. He’s showed plenty of resilience for us over the last couple of seasons. He always puts his teammates first and we needed to put him first today.” – Eels coach Brad Arthur. 

Eels: Round 3

What’s Next

Parramatta have an eight-day break before hosting the Wests Tigers on Easter Monday, with coach Brad Arthur expecting Bailey Simonsson to be available again after missing Round 3 due to concussion. The Sea Eagles head to WIN Stadium to play the Dragons in the first game on Saturday night.  

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