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Eels put bite on Bulldogs to keep top-four dream alive

Playmakers Dylan Brown and Mitch Moses showed their class as the Eels kept their top-four hopes alive with a 42-6 win over the Bulldogs at CommBank Stadium on Saturday.

The victory lifts Parramatta above Souths into fifth place on the ladder with games against the Broncos and Storm to come in the final two rounds.

The Bulldogs drew first blood through a Matt Burton penalty goal in the sixth minute but tries to Will Penisini and Waqa Blake in quick succession had the Eels up 12-2 after 15 minutes.

A mistake by the Eels in the 28th minute gifted the Bulldogs field position and Aaron Schoupp made the home team pay when he left Blake clutching at thin air to grab his eighth try of the season.

Having played a leading hand in the Eels' first try with a cross field kick, Brown came to the fore again in the 35th minute when he delivered a pinpoint cut-out pass for Maika Sivo to score.

Penisini opens the scoring

Sivo then showed his defensive prowess early in the second half when he rag dolled Jacob Kiraz into touch with the try line beckoning.

Come the 46th minute and Ryan Matterson took a pass from Brown and exploded into a hole between two Bulldogs defenders to stretch the Eels' lead to 22-6.

Tom Opacic was next to score as he finished off some nice ball movement on the left edge and the Eels had a 20-point lead.

Matterson strolls over

In his first game back from a broken finger Moses turned provider in the 62nd minute with a neat grubber kick which Brown kept on the toe to score Parramatta's sixth.

Four minutes later the Moses-Brown show took centre stage again as the No.6 completed a double courtesy of another kick from his halfback. Moses' fifth conversion of the day made it 38-6.

Blake put the icing on the Eels' 14th win of the season when he strolled over in the 79th minute to make it 42-6.

Schoupp burns Waqa Blake

Match Snapshot

  • In his first match since Round 12, Luke Thompson entered the fray in the 24th minute for the Dogs and finished with 86 run metres and 28 tackles in 37 minutes of game time.
  • Eels winger Maika Sivo has scored 35 tries in 35 games at CommBank Stadium.
  • Shaun Lane and Isaiah Papali'i had a field day scouting wide for the Eels, combining for 31 runs and 323 metres.

Gutho puts Opacic in

  • The Bulldogs cruelled their chances of an upset by making 11 errors and missing 32 tackles.
  • Dylan Brown's double was the fourth of his career. He also came up with two try assists and two line break assists.
  • Jeremy Marshall-King racked up 40 tackles in another strong defensive display for the Bulldogs.
  • The Eels have defeated the Bulldogs in seven of their past nine clashes.

Play of the Game

It's little wonder Maika Sivo scores so many tries at CommBank Stadium with Mitch Moses and Dylan Brown working their magic. The Fijian flyer made it 64 career tries in just 77 games when he steamed onto a subime Brown pass in the shadows of half-time to bring the Eels faithful to their feet. Brown's 14th try assist for the season was one of his best and you get the feeling there's plenty more to come from the classy 22-year-old five-eighth.

Brown's picture perfect pass

What They Said

"We've showed in the big games what we can do, it's finding that want all the time, that desire to do it all the time, that's what we have to prove. I thought our start was really good and we maintained the physicality for the 80 minutes. It's hard to do but I felt like we did. The want was really there today." - Eels coach Brad Arthur

Eels: Round 23

"We just want to get into a grind with a team and not be so impatient. Just to show that we are a good NRL team, not a bottom NRL team. At the moment we are really struggling to do that and it's our discipline and it's on us. We can't just keep handing the ball over meekly. If you want to play like a good NRL team you've got to be able to control the footy and build some pressure on the opposition and we're not doing that at the moment." - Bulldogs coach Mick Potter

Bulldogs: Round 23

What's Next

The Eels are away to the Broncos in Round 24 before finishing the home and away season with a huge home game against the Storm.

The Bulldogs face the Sharks at PointsBet Stadium next week before a home game at Accor Stadium against Manly in Round 25.

Acknowledgement of Country

Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs respect and honour the Darug and Eora nations, who are the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.