Norman injured as Roosters smash Eels
The Roosters have rocketed into the Telstra Premiership top four with a dominant 48-10 win over the Eels who will be sweating on the fitness of Corey Norman after the halfback limped off 10 minutes into the second half.
The Maroons hopeful was caught awkwardly in a Jared Waerea-Hargreaves tackle and appeared in immediate discomfort before the trainers opted to take him up the tunnel.
Norman's injury added to Parramatta's woes with the men in blue and gold totally outclassed by a rampant Roosters side that piled on four tries in a near-faultless first half at Allianz Stadium.
Waerea-Hargreaves was immense for the Tricolours, running for 188 minutes in an opening 54-minute stint, while wingers Daniel Tupou and Blake Ferguson combined for five tries to help the Roosters go third on points differential.
Sent back to reserve grade to rediscover his form, it took Roosters centre Latrell Mitchell just four minutes to mark his return to the NRL with a powerful try which he celebrated in style to honour Indigenous Round.
Another break by Mitchell put the Roosters straight back on the attack, and following an Eels indiscretion, Michael Gordon slotted a simple penalty goal against his former side to put the hosts ahead by eight.
The razzle-dazzle Roosters then moved further in front when some enterprising play by Waerea-Hargreaves was backed up by Mitchell Pearce who delivered an inside pass to send Jake Friend over for his first try of the season.
A monster shot by Nathan Brown on Dylan Napa sparked the Eels into life, with the men in gold pegging one back through cult hero Clint Gutherson who supported a Michael Jennings bust to score in the left corner.
Another penalty goal to Gordon pushed the lead out to two converted tries before Daniel Tupou scooped up a terrible Kenny Edwards pass and raced away to make it 22-4 after 31 minutes.
There was simply no stopping the red-hot Roosters who added to their tally four minutes before the break when Luke Keary delivered a pinpoint pass to send Blake Ferguson over for their fourth try of the half.
Any thoughts of a second-half comeback were immediately quashed when a Mitchell offload instigated a free-flowing passing movement that ended up in the hands of Tupou who leapt over for his second of the afternoon.
Former Rooster Michael Jennings stepped his way through several would-be defenders to end Parramatta's scoring drought in style only for Ferguson to restore his side's sizable advantage with a powerful effort in the right corner.
Ferguson then turned provider as he leapt highest to bat Pearce's cross-field kick into the path of Joseph Manu who strolled over before the pair traded roles for the Kangaroos winger to spectacularly complete his hat-trick.
Roosters 48 (Blake Ferguson 3, Daniel Tupou 2, Latrell Mitchell, Jake Friend, Joseph Manu tries; Michael Gordon 8 goals) def. Eels 10 (Clint Gutherson, Michael Jennings tries; Clint Gutherson 1 goal) at Allianz Stadium. Half-time: 28-4. Crowd: 10,467.