The Parramatta Eels recorded a much-needed 24-16 win over the North Queensland Cowboys on Friday night, however a controversial penalty decision threatened to ruin the result.
Kick pressure has always been a hotly contested topic in rugby league and Eels debutant Luca Moretti was in the firing line for his effort on Cowboys halfback Chad Townsend after he put in a kick.
WATCH THE VIDEO ABOVE: Dylan Brown pulls off incredible try saving tackle.
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Bunker official, and State of Origin game I referee Ashley Klein, reviewed the contact from Moretti late in the game as Townsend was about to put in a kick.
Although the contact appeared to be minimal, Klein advised on-field referee Liam Kennedy to award the Cowboys a penalty in a decision which confused the commentary team.
“Not much force in that is there?” Dan Ginnane said on Fox League.
“Strewth, is that what it’s come to?” rugby league great and fellow commentator Michael Ennis added.
Eels five-eighth Dylan Brown was the star of the show as he guided his team around the park and put in a strong defensive effort with 32 tackles.
During one incredible play, Townsend looked certain to score close to the line, until Brown appeared out of nowhere and wrapped up Townsend’s legs as he pulled off a miraculous try saving tackle.
“It was like he (Brown) jumped out of the first row to make that tackle,” Ginnane said in commentary as praised the effort by Brown.
Brown was everywhere in attack as he set up the first try for the Eels, had two linebreak assists and ran the ball for 94 metres.
Parramatta have endured a testing opening 13 rounds after reaching last year’s grand final with the win over the Cowboys helping them to move up to 10th with a 7-6 record.
Their heavily-changed roster – not a single forward nor bench player from last year’s defeat to Penrith played against North Queensland – has been shorn of some key players.
But with consecutive wins under their belt, Eels coach Brad Arthur was relieved to get a week off with the bye next round.
“We just needed the two points, we talked about that during the week and finished 13 games straight,” Arthur said.
“There’s only three or four teams that have done that and I think the Cowboys are one of them.
“It’s been a long period. I challenged the boys around owning the effort and the physicality and I thought we did that really well. There is still plenty of fight in us.”
– With AAP
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