The Parramatta Eels NYC side were left to lament missed scoring opportunities as they fell 30-22 against St. George Illawarra Dragons at OKI Jubilee Oval tonight.
The Eels jumped out to an early 6-0 lead after Jason Seage kicked a 40-20. Ben Fritz scored on debut as he pounced on a cross-field kick.
The Eels were unable to solidify their lead as they kicked out on the full on the following set. The Dragons seized the opportunity as Adam Quinlan dove on a grubber to equalise the score.
Likewise, the Dragons turned the ball over when the Eels charged down a kick. Jason Webhe crossed over the try line to regain a 12-6 lead for the Eels.
The Dragons would take the lead into halftime in controversial circumstances.
After Kyle Martens crossed over the try line to level the scores, the Dragons were awarded a penalty try. Blake Phillips crashed under the posts to score the try which almost sparked an in goal brawl. Daniel Burke converted the try and added the penalty goal for the Dragons to take a 20-12 lead that they would not relinquish for the remainder of the game.
The Eels scored back-to-back tries to cut the deficit 24-22 with 20 minutes remaining. A try to late addition, Pauli Pauli gave the Eels renewed vigour as they scored on the next set. Kaysa Pritchard popped a brilliant offload to Luke Uikelotu to race 45 metres to score.
Despite threatening to score, costly errors prevented the Eels from taking the lead.
The Dragons sealed the match when Craig Garvey crashed his way over the try line to take the match winning lead, 30-22.