Eels end year on a high in Auckland
The Parramatta Eels have ended their torrid 2016 season on a high, powering past a listless Warriors side in a 40-18 victory in Auckland on Sunday.
A hat-trick to rookie fullback Bevan French within the space of 11 minutes did much of the damage for Brad Arthur's side, while veteran rake Isaac De Gois also grabbed a double.
Through the 80 minutes the Eels looked energetic in attack, making five line breaks as they ignored the miserable conditions at Mt Smart Stadium and chanced their arm.
While Parramatta were good, the hosts were very poor, making 15 errors on their way to their 14th loss of the season.
Warriors coach Andrew McFadden couldn't have asked for more in the opening exchanges, with his side racing out to a 12-0 lead after eight minutes without even having to make a single tackle.
A drop from Michael Gordon while attempting to defuse the first kick of the game saw the Kiwi side score via Manu Vatuvei on the ensuing set, before Issac Luke found Simon Mannering looming on his right shoulder for a second try.
Luke converted both efforts and the signs were looking ominous for the Eels.
Cue a handful of Warriors errors, cue the Parramatta comeback.
First David Fusitu'a dropped the ball on his way to the try-line, before Lolohea coughed up possession while returning a kick with Do Gois scooping the ball and running 20 metres.
At that point you could have said it was probably the easiest try of De Gois's career, but that changed three minutes later when Luke fumbled from the back of the scrum, allowing De Gois to fall over from metres out and secure a rare double.
With scores locked at 12-all the Warriors were caught short on the left as Clinton Gutherson put Radradra into space for an unconverted try.
Mannering grabbed his second on 32 minutes, but it was undone by a French four-pointer a few sets later which sent the visitors to the sheds 22-18 up.
French wasted no time in getting involved again, crossing for a further two tries to secure his hat-trick inside the first six minutes of the second half.
A cheeky 15-metre dart from dummy-half, and an untouched run to the line after Fusitu'a's wayward intercept landed in his hands, saw the Tingha Tigers' junior make it 19 tries in 13 career games.
To their credit the Warriors defended well under immense pressure through the final half hour, but when they eventually got over the line themselves it was denied after review from the NRL Bunker.
A Michael Jennings try from broken play with three to go hammered the final nail into the Warriors' coffin, with Radradra showing off a new skill by adding the extras to end the match at 40-18.
Parramatta Eels 40 (French 3, De Gois 2, Radradra, Jennings tries; Gordon 5, Radradra 1 goals) defeated Warriors 18 (Simon Mannering 2, Vatuvei, tries; Luke 3 goals) at Mt Smart Stadium. Half-time: 18-22. Crowd: 11,129.