The Titans kept their slim hopes of a semi-finals berth alive with a 24-16 win over the Eels at Skilled Park in Round 24 last season.
The home side looked switched on early, fullback William Zillman opening their account in the eighth minute after finishing off a 60-metre raid initiated by Matt Srama out of dummy-half. The hooker put Aidan Sezer into space on halfway before the five-eighth found Zillman in support.
Greg Bird and Nate Myles combined for a telling blow six minutes before halftime, Bird delivering a wonderful flat pass from dummy-half that split two Parramatta goal-line defenders and found the chest of his now Titans co-captain.
A Scott Prince penalty goal extended the Titans’ lead to 14 points before Parramatta struck back on the stroke of halftime, thanks to Ben Roberts’ cunning blindside dart that resulted in Luke Burt touching down in the left corner for a 14-4 scoreline at oranges.
Chris Sandow triggered the Eels’ resurgence in the 54th minute, steaming onto a Fuifui Moimoi offload near halfway, beating opposition fullback Zillman with a monster left-foot step and outsprinting the cover defence to the line.
That made it 14-10 – but Eels fans’ hopes were quickly dented when the Titans returned fire with a smart left-side shift that saw Steve Michaels cross in the 58th minute to make it 20-10.
Kevin Gordon iced the Titans’ cake when he stole a bomb from the grasp of Ken Sio to touch down and extend their lead to 14, before Sio erased his blunder when setting up Taniela Lasalo inside two minutes of the fulltime siren.
The match stats revealed the evenness of the contest: the sides shared possession with 50 per cent apiece; the Titans offloaded 10 times to the Eels’ 13; the Eels made five line-breaks to the Titans’ four. However, the Titans were able to create more opportunities through 26 completed sets compared to Parramatta’s 22.
William Zillman starred for the home team with 162 metres, a try and eight tackle busts, while his opposite number Jake Mullaney (177 metres) and prop Fuifui Moimoi (130 metres and three offloads) were the best for the beaten side.