The Parramatta Eels have taken themselves off the bottom of the NRL ladder in stunning fashion following a 40-4 victory over a very poor St George Illawarra Dragons at ANZ Stadium.
A spot back in the top 4 was up for grabs for the Dragons if they could beat the bottom of the table Parramatta Eels who inturn were looking to keep their battle to fend off a wooden spoon alive following their victory over the Titans last week.
The scoring opened in just the third minute of the game when Mitchell Moses threw a remarkable long ball out to Jarryd Hayne who was on the outside of the Dragons winger and the Hayne Plane had a free passage into the corner to get his first try of the night. Jarryd Hayne was again in the thick of the action but for the wrong reasons this time when he was cut openly badly following an accidental collison with Jordan Pereira's boot when the Dragons winger went to take a catch of a Mitch Moses bomb.
A hannibal lecter looking bandage job for Jarryd Hayne didn't stop the Hayne Plane from taking flight again which was set up perfectly by a beautiful long ball by Kane Evans finding Michael Jennings who found Hayne who made good metres before finding Moses who inturn found Hayne who scored. The Eels had opened up a 10-0 lead and things were all going against the Dragons with a penalty count mounting up and by the time it reached 7-0 referee Adam Gee had enough and Cam McInnes found himself in the sin bin.
The Dragons night wasn't getting any better when Gareth Widdop stopped another Eels try but in doing so he dislocated his shoulder and his impact was missed by the Dragons for the rest of the night and potentially their run into the season. The errors continued to mount against the Dragons and the Eels took advantage when George Jennings went through the line off a scrum and Parramatta had a shock 16-0 lead.
Jarryd Hayne finished his hat-trick on the stroke of half-time when the Dragons stood there and watched the ball bounce which let Jarryd Hayne swoop in and pounce on the ball to score and after Mitch Moses converted from close range, the Eels had a shock 22-0 half time lead.
The Dragons took the first points of the first half when a pinpoint kick from Ben Hunt saw Luciano Leilua outjump Michael Jennings and the Dragons had their only try of the match and after a poor conversion attempt from Ben Hunt, the Dragons trailled 22-4.
Mitch Moses then showed his class in quick succession when the first try was set up by a good deft little kick in behind the Dragons defensive line who again left the ball bouncing in the in-goal before Clint Gutherson dived on the ball and scored Parra's fifth try of the match. The second piece of try was some pure individual brilliance from Mitch Moses who spotted a gap in the lazy Dragons defensive line and parted the seasons after feigning a kick and racing through to score.
The Dragons were then denied a try by the bunker which ruled a double movement against Euan Aitken who looked to have bounced out of a Gutherson tackle and despite the live decision of try from referee Adam Gee who also thought Aitken had broken free of the tackle. The replays showed Gutherson had completed the tackle on Aitken and Jared Maxwell called no try.
The Eels finished the scoring with just under 2 minutes to go when a good ball from Siosia Vave put the Eels in good position after a burst from Jaeman Salmon before next play Vave fought his way over to the line and a good conversion from Mitch Moses sealed the 40-4 win.
Next weekend things don't get easier for either side with the Eels having a roadtrip down to Melbourne to take on the Melbourne Storm whilst the Dragons head to Leichhardt to take on the Wests Tigers.