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Past stars haunt Eels - Australian Rugby league News
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globalrugbyleague - Sat, 12 Apr 2008 01:14:00 GMT
Some old faces returned to Parramatta Stadium on Friday night and had a ball at the Eels expense while setting up a 28-20 victory for the in-form Gold Coast Titans.
Former Eels Matt Petersen and Aaron Cannings did the damage for the Titans, with Petersen touching down in the 16th minute of play and Cannings in the 24th to see Gold Coast race out to an early lead.
Another slow start saw the Eels trail by 10-points mid-way through the first half before halfback Tim Smith engineered the Eels first try, stepping in behind the defensive line before offloading for Nathan Hindmarsh to score.
Titans hooker Nathan Friend then sent the visitors back out to a 10 point lead, Prince converting Friend’s four pointer to make it 16-6 in favour of the Gold Coast just before half time.
Luke Burt clawed two points back for the Eels after the half time siren, converting a penalty after Jarryd Hayne was brought down without the ball.
The second half was uneventful until Prince stamped his authority 12 minutes in, taking the ball one phase after a Titans breakout he kept the defence guessing before waltzing over to score under the posts with some help from another former Eel, Brett Delaney, who helped set up a great passage of space in the lead up to the prince of tries.
With his conversion making it 22-8 in favour of the Titans it appeared hope was lost for the home side. But reverting to their second-half Houdini tricks, the Eels rolled up their sleeves and decided to have another crack at scoring a famous come from behind win.
A Joel Reddy try midway through the half gave the Eels life at 22-14 and Eric Grothe was unlucky not to get the Eels even closer when he was bundled into touch just short of the line soon after.
Then a piece of Brett Finch brilliance brought the match alive.
Getting the ball 25 metres out from the line and with a wall of defence in front of him Finch put a grubber through before somehow winning the race to score.
Burt’s conversion made it a two point ball game with 12 minutes left to play.
Having been given life the crowd of 13,321 found their voice, however they were silenced five minutes from time when Titans replacement Josh Graham barreled his way over for a video referee awarded try.
Prince’s conversion made it 28-20 in favour of the Titans and with it the match was gone.
Vocal Eels fans called for a double movement with one boisterous supporter making his views well known to the media in attendance.
When the try was awarded Eels coach Michael Hagan could do nothing but shake his head.
“It was maybe one of those calls that went against us tonight.
"I thought there were enough elements to it to suggest it may have been (a double movement), but I'm not blaming that for the loss or that performance."

While conceding the Eels are still not putting a full game together, skipper Nathan Cayless declared now was not the time to start making major changes to the team ahead of next week’s clash with Manly.
“You can’t give up and go sacking everyone, dropping everyone.
“ Gotta stick with the boys. It was a big effort by the boys. Everyone busted their arses out there.”
Victorious Titans coach John Cartwright wasn’t so much concerned about his side’s away record as he was impressed by the performance without inspirational prop Luke Bailey
"It was probably our gutsiest win since we kicked off last year for sure," Cartwright said.
"It (poor away form) is not something that's really bothered us. I was very confident coming here tonight."
Gold Coast Titans 28 (Matt Petersen, Aaron Cannings, Nathan Friend, Scott Prince, Josh Graham tries; Scott Prince 4/5 goals) d PARRAMATTA 20 (Nathan Hindmarsh, Joel Reddy, Brett Finch tries; Luke Burt 4/4 goals) Penalties: Eels 11-3. Crowd: 13,321 - Read More, Here