Up until last week’s win over the Wests Tigers, the Round 9 match between these sides had remained the Eels’ most recent victory for 12 rounds. The big talking point after the game was a piece of Jarryd Hayne magic right on halftime when, following a penalty deep inside the Parramatta half, Hayne launched the side downfield with a massive touch-finder. With seconds remaining in the period the fullback nonchalantly slotted a field-goal from near the sideline.
The one point made it 11-8 at the break and may not have looked significant then but proved to be crucial as the Eels clung on to win by the narrowest of margins, 19-18, in a game where Brisbane dominated territory by 1382 metres gained to just 1183 running metres for the Eels.
Earlier, Hayne had got the scoring underway with a powerful try out wide, holding up the pass before crashing through Hodges to score. Centre Jacob Loko was responsible for the second as an audacious chip and regather led to a Luke Kelly try and a 10-0 advantage to the Eels.
The lead was quickly reduced to just two points due to a double strike from Jordan Kahu, who earned the first two tries of his NRL career courtesy of skilful passes from first Hodges then fullback Corey Norman.
Some Chris Sandow magic right after the break put Joe Paulo over to earn the Eels a 17-8 lead before a deceptive run from Hodges out wide fooled the Eels defence and earned a third unconverted try for Brisbane.
A penalty goal pushed Parramatta’s lead back out to seven with 15 to play before a Ben Hunt try shortly after made it 19-18 and ensured a grandstand finish, with the Eels holding on in a thriller.