The Parramatta Eels shaded the North Queensland Cowboys in a close 20-16 win at Pirtek stadium on Saturday night.
The Eels were first to put points on the board with a penalty goal by Michael Gordon in the 5th minute giving Gordon a 1200-point career milestone
It took the Cowboys a while to respond, but Jonathan Thurston delivered a flat pass to let Ethan Lowe run through the defence and score in the 17th minute – 6-2.
In the 20th minute the Eels’ Nathan Peats showed his strength, burrowing over the line for a try. A rampaging Kenny Edwards crashed over the line in the 39th minute, dragging defenders with him, to put the Eels 14-6 up at half-time.
In the second half the Cowboys closed the gap with a penalty and then capitalised on good field position for Justin O’Neil to cross wide off a set play – 14-10.
Parramatta followed suit, with a penalty goal to Michael Gordon in the 57th minute and a try to Brad Takairangi in the corner off a crafty pass from prop Junior Paulo in the 61st to give the Eels a 10 point lead going into the final quarter.
The Cowboys scored through Jason Taumalolo in the 79th minute to set up a last minute chance but the Parramatta defence held, locking the final score at 20-16.
Corey Oates injured in Brisbane Broncos win
A late injury to Corey Oates overshadowed the Brisbane Broncos’ 25-10 win over the Warriors on Friday night at Suncorp Stadium. After a tight first-half (12-10), the Broncos defence kept the Warriors scoreless in the second-half. Anthony Milford was a standout performer for Brisbane, involving himself in almost all of his side’s scoring plays. State of Origin hopeful Corey Oates was in supreme form, scoring a try early in the first-half before going down with a shoulder injury in the 70th minute. Broncos doctors diagnosed AC joint damage that may sideline the 21-year-old for up to a month. Jack Reed, Darius Boyd and Matt Gillett were the other try scorers for Brisbane. Former Rabbitoh Issac Luke scored his first try for the Warriors. – James Wardell and Anthony Johnston
Penrith Panthers 16 lost to Canterbury Bulldogs 18
Canberra Raiders 21 beat Sydney Roosters 20
South Sydney Rabbitohs 48 beat Newcastle Knights 6
Cronulla Sharks 30 beat St George Dragons 2
Melbourne Storm 34 beat Gold Coast Titans 16
Photo of Semi Radradra contributing to the Eels’ win by Robb Cox, from Parramatta Eels website.