04/03/2024

The Eels are off to the NRLW grand final after a huge upset over the minor premiers (Image: NRLW Twitter)

The Eels have advanced to play in the NRLW grand final with incredible defence, beating the undefeated Sydney Roosters 24-10 at Suncorp Stadium. 

After winning the last game of the regular season to advance to the semi-final while conceding the second most points in the league, the Eels came out firing on all cylinders against the Roosters. The defence and yardage game of Parramatta saw the Eels capitalise against a poor try line defence Roosters squad. 

The first 15 minutes had a number of back and forth sets, however the Eels had more than the majority of the possession and after a few attempts at cracking the Roosters’ try line, Ash Quinlan noticed the Roosters sliding rather than moving up and scores after managing to get past four defenders.

The Roosters looked like they were coming back with a try from Shaniah Power, with a perfectly placed kick from halfback Rachael McGregor on the left edge.

Errors and poor discipline from the Roosters saw Parramatta taking the lead to 12-4 before halftime with a try to Abbi Church, cracking the Roosters right edge defence again.

In the second half, the Eels continued putting pressure on the Roosters on both sides of the ball, taking pride in their defence and scrambling when the Roosters were near the line.

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Parramatta’s best player on the field was Tayla Preston, who put on her best kicking game performance and did a great job pressuring the Roosters’ back three with her kicks, making them uncomfortable and confused at times. 

Preston scored 12 points, including a try of her own, with 12 kicks for 324 metres and forcing a line drop-out in this game.

The forward pack also came to play, setting the tone with their hard runs in the middle third and helping the spine set up opportunities in the Roosters’ half. 

Kennedy Cherrington had 22 runs for 214 metres, 72 post-contact metres, 27 tackles and 3 tackle breaks.

Captain Simaima Taufa had 15 runs for 156 running metres with 51 post-contact metres, 36 tackles and 3 tackle breaks while Ellie Johnston also had 12 runs for 134 running metres, 55 post-contact metres and 3 tackle breaks also.

The Roosters managed to score one more try in the last five minutes of the game, playing quick from the play the ball and picking up the pace in their attack.

The Eels will face the Newcastle Knights in the 2022 NRLW grand final on Sunday at Accor Stadium.

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