Mitch Moses dazzles as Parramatta star bags hat-trick of assists to help Eels edge out Titans – but steward steals the show with HUGE tackle on streaker
- Parramatta Eels secured their fourth win of the season against the Titans
- Mitch Mosses dazzled for Brad Arthur’s side, setting up three tries
- There was controversy over the use of captain’s challenges during the game
- The Titans almost overturned a 20-point deficit but Parra withstood the storm
Parramatta halfback Mitchell Moses’ right boot has secured the Eels a 26-20 win in a helter-skelter NRL contest against Gold Coast at CBUS Super Stadium.
Coming into Saturday’s game already leading the competition for try involvements, Moses picked up three try assists as the Eels held off a second-half fightback from the Titans to claim their fourth win of the season.
Despite Moses’ heroics, fans were left stunned by a crunching tackle from an alert steward who stopped a pitch invader in her tracks as the game was brought to an abrupt halt.
Parramatta Eels secured their fourth win of the season after withholding a Titans barrage
Parra star Mitch Moses with the creator in chief as the gun picked up a hat trick of assists
On the back of a Clint Gutherson double, the Eels were cruising with a 20-0 lead in the second half before Gold Coast twice deliberately conceded penalties to use their captain’s challenge successfully to score.
Eels prop Junior Paulo was then sent to the sin-bin for a shoulder charge on Titans’ five-eighth AJ Brimson before a barnstorming solo effort by David Fifita got the hosts within four points.
Moses struck back with his third try assist of the night off a kick for Dylan Brown before Greg Marzhew’s burrowing effort set up a frantic final five minutes as the Eels just held on to claim their second narrow win of the season over the Titans.
That finish looked far from likely after the Eels absolutely bossed the opening half, running in three unanswered tries and enjoying two-thirds of possession.
Gutherson opened the scoring in the 18th minute, moments after denying Brimson at the other end.
Parramatta then turned on the style for their second, some fast hands through the backline ending with Bailey Simonsson sliding into the corner.
There was some controversy surrounding the use of captain’s challenges during the game
The Titans’ defeat takes their record to 2-6 for the season amid a slow start to the campaign
The visitors’ third try was not without controversy, with the bunker ruling Jarrod Wallace had spilt a Moses kick in the in-goal area despite the Titans’ forward arguing he’d been taken out in the air.
Gutherson pounced on the loose ball to claim his second four-pointer with Moses converting to ensure a 14-0 advantage at the break.
Ryan Matterson extended the Eels’ lead in the 46th minute but then the game swung dramatically in the hosts’ favour.
A clever piece of game management by Titans’ halfback Toby Sexton finally allowed the hosts to get on the board in the 57th minute.
After a knock-on had been ruled against Jarrod Wallace, Sexton deliberately gave away a penalty to stop the play and allow a captain’s challenge on the call, with the decision being overturned in the Titans’ favour.
A security guard stole the show with a crunching tackle on an unwelcome intruder
The streaker is escorted from the pitch after disrupting the game on Saturday night
From the resulting set, Phillip Sami won the race to a Brimson grubber to get the home team’s first points.
The ploy having worked once, the Titans did it again with the same result in the 59th minute.
After Patrick Herbert was pulled back running in support for Jamayne Isaako, the Titans’ centre deliberately interfered in the ruck to give away a penalty and call a captain’s challenge for the interference.
The challenge was successful and from another Brimson grubber, Erin Clark was the beneficiary as the Titans cut the deficit to 10 points.
The game then ignited in the 63rd minute when Paulo crashed into Brimson, the bunker deeming the contact to be a shoulder charge and leading to the big Eel being placed on report and sent to the sin bin for 10 minutes.
Fifita took it upon himself to put the Titans within a try when he ran from dummy-half, crashed through Bryce Cartwright and then carried Gutherson over the line to score.
A conversion from the sideline by Sexton had the hosts within four points but Brown’s four-pointer after Herbert failed to gather Moses’ kick meant Marzhew’s late try was in vain.