Shaky Eels edge depleted Storm



Finally Parramatta fans have something to smile about after another week from hell, pulling off a 26-22 NRL upset win over a depleted Melbourne on Monday night.

Not that things came easy for the Eels or their supporters at AAMI Park.

Storm winger Mahe Fonua looked to have grabbed the match-winning try in the 79th minute, only to denied by the video referee for a suspected double movement as he burrowed over from dummy half.

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It was still a rousing win despite Melbourne being without their Origin superstars Cameron Smith, Billy Slater, Will Chambers and the injured Cooper Cronk.

Melbourne also lost prop Jordan McLean (hamstring) before the match.

But after just their second win in 10 Melbourne visits, providing an ideal salute to 300-game lock Anthony Watmough, the Eels will take it.

The omens weren’t good for the home side when they lost fullback Reece Robinson (suspected fractured cheekbone) in just the sixth minute.

Then again, the Eels have been getting used to receiving bad news.

They are still reeling from Friday’s departure of Scott Seward – their fourth CEO in as many years.

It added to a horror year in which they have been fined $525,000 and may lose four competition points in 2016 for salary cap breaches.

Then there was playmaker Chris Sandow’s public falling out with coach Brad Arthur over their playing style.

But Parramatta showed spirit to come back from a 22-16 deficit in the 66th minute to notch a rare win and avoid last place on the NRL ladder.

Tries to Eels centre Ryan Morgan (70th minute) and backrower Tepai Moeroa (76th) gave the visitors the lead before Fonua’s last gasp play.

Parramatta reeled in a 12-10 halftime deficit when pivot Corey Norman pickpocketed Storm fullback Cameron Munster off a Sandow kick in the 42nd.

But Melbourne hit back when pivot Blake Green pounced on a spilt in-goal grubber (49th minute) and Hymel Hunt scored on Storm debut (66th) after a Norman pass went to ground.

Melbourne led 12-0 after as many minutes after Tohu Harris – a centre filling in at prop for McLean – scored then converted halfback Ben Hampton’s 12th minute try.

Sandow set up Semi Radradra’s double in the 27th and 36th minutes.

The hulking winger could have had three but was denied by the video referee (obstruction) in the 31st.

Parramatta also lost hooker Nathan Peats (eye) in the first half.


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