Half Kieran Foran back at Brookie and inspires win for Eels
HALFBACK Kieran Foran returned to Brookvale Oval in an Eels jersey and helped inflict a painful loss on former team the Sea Eagles, with Parramatta beating their Sydney rivals 22-10.
Foran, a premiership-winner with Manly in 2011, and his Eels teammates were outstanding, as were the brave hosts.
But the finish from the blue and golds, thanks largely to Foran's halves partner Corey Norman - when they scored three tries in the final 11 minutes - was simply too good.
The Eels have now won five of their first seven games, equaling the start they made in 1986 - the last premiership won by the western Sydney club.
It's just a shame for Eels fans their team could well be penalised competition points for possible salary cap breaches.
Parramatta scored four tries to one, but Manly was brave in defeat, without star halfback Daly Cherry-Evans and hooker Matt Parcell.
The Eels also battled on without lock Tepai Moeroa, taken off in the 13th minute with a twisted ankle.
While Foran and Norman starred, there were a number of brilliant plays and talking points throughout the 80 minutes.
With Manly up 8-2, Eels second-rower Beau Scott pulled off an unbelievable try-saving tackle on flying winger Tom Trbojevic in the 28th minute.
It was a stunning show of determination from the veteran on a youngster with plenty of speed.
Five minutes later big Eels winger Semi Radradra flew down the left flank, before finding Foran in support, with Foran passing to giant prop Danny Wicks, who juggled and showed great hands to hold the ball.
This time it was Manly centre Steve Matai's turn to produce a brilliant try-saver, covering plenty of yards to run down and stop the 107kg Wicks.
But Norman then produced a perfect cross-field chip, mishandled by Manly five-eighth Dylan Walker and picked up by Brad Takairangi for a try, leveling up at 8-all.
After three consecutive sets of six in Eels territory, the Parramatta defence, led by Beau Scott, held firm, stopping the Sea Eagles from crossing the line, 15 minutes into the second half.
A Wicks strip on Siosaia Vave saw the hosts respect the tight defence from the visitors, opt for a penalty goal in front, and give Manly a 10-8 lead.
That could have been more, because with the momentum shifting in the Sea Eagles' favour, the peninsula outfit then earned a penalty for Eels hooker Nathan Peats' high shot on centre Steve Matai in the 63rd minute.
Manly second-rower Tom Symonds - not for the first time in the evening - then showed slick kicking skills, forcing a dropout with a nice short grubber.
Soon afterwards another skilful short kick along the deck - this time from fullback Brett Stewart - saw front-rower Darcy Lussick steaming through, only to make a meal of his attempted put-down.
After a brain explosion saw Manly's Blake Leary attempt a chip kick inside his own 50m line, some Norman brilliance again led to another Parra try.
His cross-field kick was batted back by Takairangi, before another former Manly player, impressive winger Clinton Gutherson, produced a highly-skilled offload back in field.
Isaac De Gois then grubbered through for centre Michael Jennings to score and give the Eels a 14-10 lead.
Jennings then collected his second try from a Norman grubber, before the in-form Parramatta pivot was at it again.
A beautiful cut-out pass from Norman then saw Radradra score in the left-hand corner with three minutes to go.