The Parramatta Eels have snatched a last-gasp 34 points to 32 win over the Sharks at the Pirtek Stadium
Despite a hat-trick to debutant Jack Rogers, the Sharks could not secure the two points, against a Parramatta side that refused to say die.
The Eels had looked to have opened their accounts through Mason Cerruto, who crossed with ease – only to be denied when Anthony Moraitis reviewed the play with his ‘Captain’s Challenge’.
But the Eels would not have to wait long for their first points of the afternoon, and they found them through hooker and captain Zach Docker-Clay in the 5th minute of play.
Parramatta would again cross through winger Atini Gafa, and not making any mistakes off the tee, the Eels extended their lead to 12.
Down by 12, the Sharks would spring to life and found a way to put paid to the Eels defence when Jack Rogers crossed for a try on debut.
Ryan Cummins converted from out wide, and reduced the margin to 6.
The hosts had the run of the play for the majority of the first half, and after attacking the Sharks line, again found points when Gafa grabbed his second of the day.
The Sharks soon after hit back through big man Billy Magoulias, and scoring doubles was quickly becoming a running theme at Pirtek Stadium.
Jack Rogers ran in his second try of the afternoon on the brink of the break, and after doing a mountain of first half defence, the Sharks managed to return to the sheds on par with the hosts at 18.
Upon the resumption mason Cerruto ran in a try to send the Eels back to the front, before Jack Rogers grabbed his hat trick inside 50 minutes on his maiden outing.
Cummins couldn’t convert, and the score remained at 24-22.
Eels right centre Mason Cerruto was causing plenty of havoc for the Sharks defence, and looked to have scored again – only to be denied for obstruction, for the second time on the afternoon.
Gafa soon after got his treble, and extended the Eels lead to 28 points to 22. Down by 6, Jack Williams stepped up to the mark, and the Sharks levelled the scores at 28.
Looking to have sealed the match, Lachlan Stein crossed to send the Sharks to the front – but Cummins couldn’t add the extra two from the north-eastern corner of the Pirtek Stadium.
In a heart-breaking twist of fate, the Eels would run in a late try to tie the scores at 32, and Dockar-Clay slotted the extra points to cap a dramatic Eels win.