Eels lose to Tigers 51-26

WESTS TIGERS defended like a Toyota Cup team but their attack ensured they are again a top-eight team after a 51-26 win against a spirited Parramatta.

Parramatta came into the game beaming with confidence following their recent efforts against Melbourne and Brisbane, but it looked like the Tigers would bring them crashing back down to earth when they strolled in for the opening try of the night inside five minutes.

Rather than deflate the giant-killers, it triggered them into an attacking frenzy, piling on 22 points in 19 minutes to take their record against the Tigers to 52 points in their last 41 minutes against the joint venture.

Eels fullback Jake Mullaney, a product of Sydney's south-west, haunted his junior club in the first half, crossing for two tries in front of his family and friends.

Fuifui Moimoi wound back the clock, playing with the aggression and venom not seen since Parramatta's charge to the grand final in 2009.

Who said Parramatta couldn't score points without Jarryd Hayne?

In his absence, Roberts, Chris Sandow, Joseph Paulo and Reni Maitua took over the reins as providers, putting their teammates through holes at will.

Just as it looked like the Tigers were about to surrender to the Eels, back-to-back penalties put them back in the contest.

With a top-eight position up for grabs, the Tigers were never going to die wondering. Tries to Chris Heighington and Matt Utai just before half time reducing a 22-6 deficit to just four points at the break.

They conceded the first try of the second half, but that was a minor hiccup in an explosive second half for the home side.

The registered the half-century after the siren, with Marshall putting the icing on the cake with a conversion from the sideline.

The Tigers will fight to keep their top eight spot next Saturday when they take on St George Illawarra.

WESTS TIGERS 51 (M Koroibete 4 M Utai 2 A Blair C Heighington T Moltzen tries B Marshall 7 goals B Marshall field goal) bt PARRAMATTA 26 (J Mullaney 2 B Roberts K Sio T Tautai tries L Burt 3 goals) at Campbelltown Sports Stadium. Referee: Jared Maxwell, Tony De Las Heras. Crowd: 14,822.

Michael Chammas, SMH

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