Parramatta have snapped Gold Coast’s four-game NRL winning streak with a 22-12 win in Darwin.
Just a day after the club responded to show-cause notices for alleged salary cap rorting, star Corey Norman and Kaysa Pritchard lifted the Eels to their eighth win of the season on Saturday.
Down 8-0 after just 13 minutes, Parramatta responded with 22 straight points to end the Titans’ four-game winning streak and leave them hanging on to eighth spot.
Eels coach Brad Arthur was heartened by their breakthrough win – their third consecutive victory in the Top End in three seasons.
“We might have to come up here a bit more,” he said post-game.
“It’s good for the boys to get away and spend some time together, especially off the back of some tough weeks. But I’m very proud of them tonight.”
In front of a crowd of 7,722 at TIO Stadium, the Eels led 20-8 in the 64th minute when former rake Nathan Peats – who was sensationally pushed out of the club last month – was penalised for dissent.
The indiscretion gifted Parramatta two points, and came moments after Norman sliced through a tiring Titans defence in the 60th minute and handed off to Kaysa Pritchard to finish a 55-metre movement.
Earlier, Parramatta shrugged off a slow start to take a 12-8 lead into halftime.
In-form Titans halfback Ashley Taylor laid on two tries for his side in the opening 20 minutes, including a no-look cutout pass for Anthony Don in the sixth minute.
Taylor again linked up with his right winger five minutes later – this time through the boot – with Don tapping back for Agnatius Paasi to pounce.
The game turned when the former Brisbane talent almost set up a third try in the 27th minute.
A pass intended for Josh Hoffman was picked off by opposite centre Clinton Gutherson, who then offloaded for Bevan French to race 80 metres to score against the run of play.
Norman orchestrated his team superbly, while Pritchard’s injection in the second half was also key, although the hooker was put on report for a second-half high shot on Will Zillman.
For the Titans, Taylor and prop Luke Douglas tried hard in a losing team, while mid-season recruit Konrad Hurrell, in his first game for the club, struggled in the warm conditions and failed to see out the match.
Titans coach Neil Henry said his team threw away a good start with poor handling.
“It’s pretty simple. They held the ball and we didn’t in the conditions,” he said.
“We ended up three-tries-all but really, you’re right, disappointing after an eight-point start.”