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Who's the man? Hindmarsh - Australian Rugby league News
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globalrugbyleague - Sun, 17 Jun 2007 19:08:00 GMT
Triumphant Eels coach Michael Hagan paid tribute to second-rower Nathan Hindmarsh in the wake of his side’s 20-12 victory over St George-Illawarra in round 14 of the NRL.

Hindmarsh – who missed out on scoring his 6th try of the year by inches – received plenty of accolades for putting in a man of the match performance in his 200th first grade game.

“He was always around when there was a dangerous piece of play being set-up by St George-Illawarra,” Hagan said.

On suggestions in the media mid-week that he may not make it back into the Blues jersey for Origin III three days after QLD stole the 2007 series, Hindmarsh was far from rattled.

“Parramatta comes first now. My main concern is to win a premiership for Parramatta,” Hindmarsh declared at the post-match media derby.

And on the significance of having played his 200th NRL game?

“To do it for one club is an honour.

“Once I get home and sit down, I’ll probably think about it.”

Hagan hailed the idea of leaving Hindmarsh out of the dead-rubber game to be played on July 4 as “foolish.’

Talk of the Eels being in contention for the premiership is no longer a laughing matter but a serious proposition for rivals to consider.

The victory shoots Parramatta up into third spot on the competition ladder, the highest position they’ve jumped too since the arrival of Michael Hagan this season.

With the game still on the line up until the 70th minute, Dragons coach Nathan Brown traced his side’s downfall back to key individuals not turning up at crucial periods in the contest.

“At 8-6 we should’ve had 3 or 4 blokes backing up,” the vanquished former hooker declared.

“I just don’t think that some people are using the attributes other people have got."

Prop Jason Ryles shared a similar school of thought to his coach.

“We could’ve been up by 3 tries in the first half,” Ryles said.

The opening 31-minutes of the first half was tolerable to watch at best with both sides snuffing out several opportunities to score tries via poor execution and limited imagination in attack.

While the visitors dominated a majority of possession and looked like scoring early off the back of a handling error from the Eels in their first set, it was not to be.

Instead for the second consecutive week, a team led at half-time by 2-0 after fullback Luke Burt successfully slotted a penalty goal given away by the Dragons for being offside.

The Eels looked like paying the price for taking a shot at goal when a miracle ball popped out of a four-man tackle, allowing Dragons winger Ben Hewitt to score the first try of the afternoon.

But off the back of repeat penalties the home side struck back quickly when Jarryd Hayne scored out wide care of a fast Luke Burt pass.

Burt’s most important conversion of the game returned the lead to Parramatta for the second time. From there it was lights out for Brown’s babes.

Upping their speed and the tempo of the game, the Eels delivered the match winning try with 10 minutes remaining when Eric Grothe picked up the loose ball to run over unmarked.

The last rights for the Dragons were delivered when Brett Finch launched a beautiful bomb which was collected by acrobatic Eels centre Krisnan Inu.

St George-Illawarra then repayed the faithful for turning up when Jamie Soward scored and converted a consolation try right on full-time.

In Premier League, Parramatta nullified their four-game losing streak after drawing 24-all with St George.

The Eels will head to Aussie Stadium next weekend to try and pluck the Roosters while the Dragons will attempt to beat the Storm at Olympic Park to get off the bottom of the ladder.

EELS 20 (J Hayne, E Grothe, K Inu tries; L Burt 4 goals) def DRAGONS 12 (B Hewitt, J Soward tries;J Soward 2 goals) at Parramatta Stadium. Referee: Sean Hampstead Penalties: Eels 10-4.Line-Breaks: Eels 6-2. - Read More, Here