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Parramatta’s season began its long downward spiral as they crashed to their second loss in as many games to start 2012 and, more importantly, saw star fullback Jarryd Hayne stretchered off with a serious knee injury. The match was shaping up as a thriller with the Eels leading 8-6 after 15 minutes when Hayne picked up a grubber on his own line and raced up-field only to stop suddenly and drop to the ground in agony.
His departure saw a rapid shift in momentum with the Warriors crossing minutes later through Bill Tupou to take a 12-8 lead, then extending it further as Konrad Hurrell steamed across from a set play.
To their credit the Eels didn’t lie down. Chris Sandow ensured it was still a close one at the break, with a shoulder charge jolting the ball loose from Hurrell and allowing the diminutive halfback to pounce on the scraps and score.
And after Maloney scored shortly after the half-time break to make it 24-14, it was Sandow again keeping his side in the contest with a superb solo run on the right edge to again narrow the gap to four.
However, that was as close as the home side got. A break down the left wing from Manu Vatuvei saw Kevin Locke given a saloon passage to the try line to ensure a Warriors victory and they added some icing to the cake with another length-of-the-field effort to Bill Tupou inside the final minutes giving them a 36-20 win.