Sydney side hold off courageous Parramatta outfit in the NRL.
The Sydney Roosters earned a important 38-24 victory against a determined Parramatta Eels side in the NRL, but the final score was not the main talking point after the clash.
Parramatta’s star Jarryd Hayne was taken from the field in the 75th minute with a hamstring strain, which he injured in the process of chasing a all-or-nothing chip kick by Chris Sandow.
Hayne was helped from the field by two trainers and looked in obvious pain in what is a crucial blow for not only the struggling Eels but also for New South Wales.
With just over two weeks before the next State of Origin game, the Blues fullback will struggle to be fit in time, unless scans of the injury come back with better news than was being broadcast from Hayne’s face as he was taken into the changerooms.
The injury caps what has been horror week for the Eels in the wake of the news coach Ricky Stuart is clearing the decks already for next season, with 12 players being released by the club for 2014.
Daniel Tupou scored early off the back of a short chip-kick to make it 6-0 after as many minutes for the Roosters.
However, Parramatta hit back quickly when Ken Sio scored after a diving effort into the corner.
Sandow potted the conversion from the sideline as they drew level with the away side.
Jake Mullaney then slid across for Parramatta as the Roosters’ defence on their right edge again opened up like the Red Sea.
Shaun Kenny-Dowall was again crucial in the defensive breakdown that led to the try, as the Eels jumped out to a well-earned 12-6 lead.
Sydney answered off the back of a penalty with a very soft try with Martin Kennedy carrying two Eels’ defenders across the line to see the scores again locked up.
Hayne came into the game in the 26th minute in a better position than many expected him to find the Eels in given their struggles this year against the Roosters, who recorded a 50-0 win over Parramatta on April 1.
However, again off the back of a mistake by the Eels, Roger Tuivasa-Sheck showed too much power to beat the cover defence to make it 18-12.
Tupou scored his second as the Roosters scorched the Eels defence on their right edge, with the away side jumping out to a 12-point lead in a high-scoring first half.
To sum up their problems, the Eels failed to find the line with a penalty as the Roosters went back on the attack, but the home side at Parramatta Stadium hung on to be down 24-12 at half-time.
“We need to play tough and get consecutive sets and if we can do that there are tries there for
us, but it got a bit loose there for a while,” Sydney coach Trent Robinson said at half-time.
Hayne scored a fortuitous try when two knock-ons and a forward pass missed by the referees on the ground and in the video replay box, in what was a bad call by the offcials.
Parramatta became their own worst enemies at times with several penalties for being inside the 10, as the inexperience of the Eels side showed,with a Maloney penalty goal making the score 26-18.
However, in bad news for the Roosters, Sonny Bill Williams might have a case to answer after he was put on report for a high shot.
Parramatta scored to make the game interesting in the last five minutes, to make the score 26-24.
Minichiello scored to secure the win as Maloney slotted the conversion to give his side the important eight-point lead again with five minutes left.
However, the drama was not over as Hayne was helped off the field late in the game and straight down into the changerooms with right hamstring strain.
The cherry on top for the Roosters saw Kenny-Dowall score after a heap turnover close to the Eels’ line, as the game was put beyond doubt.