Parramatta have shrugged off yet another week of high controversy and a worrying knee injury to Semi Radradra to produce a 22-18 win for the ages over Sydney Roosters at Pirtek Stadium.
Despite being reduced to 15 men in the first half on Friday night, the Eels rallied from 18-6 down with 20 minutes remaining to keep their slim NRL finals hopes alive and send the 8464-strong crowd into raptures.
On a day when skipper Kieran Foran asked the club for a release from the final three years of his contract, the Eels produced one of the gutsiest efforts in recent memory.
Things didn’t look good at first for Parramatta when Radradra left the field with a suspected medial ligament injury in the seventh minute and hooker Isaac De Gois followed soon after due to concussion.
They did well to have scores level at 6-6 at halftime but the Roosters looked as if they were going to run away with it when Daniel Tupou twice flew high to set up Boyd Cordner and Latrell Mitchell in the space of three minutes.
But just when the Eels looked gone, Manu Ma’u crossed for two tries in seven minutes to level the scores and rally his team.
Five-eighth Corey Norman proved the match-winner, grubbering for Clint Gutherson’s 75th-minute four-pointer to put his side in front before pulling off a try-saver on Joseph Manu in the dying seconds.
Norman set up all his side’s four tries.
The Eels will have a nervous wait after Danny Wicks, in his 100th game, was penalised for a shoulder charge in the first half and will face the scrutiny of the match review committee.