NSW Cup Round 3 Match Report vs Parramatta Eels

by Ricky Newell

Blacktown Workers bounced back from a disappointing loss last week with a strong 40-20 win over the Parramatta Eels in the Knock-On Effect NSW Cup. 

Blacktown Coach Wayne Lambkin wanted to see an improved effort from his players after a poor loss at home last week to the Sydney Roosters.

Well, Lambkin, got that and more with Blacktown Workers producing an impressive first-half performance to lay the platform for their second win of the season.

Halves Jake Arthur and Brandon Wakeham were integral in the victory as they steered their side’s attack to put the home side on the back foot early on.  

Blacktown took the lead in the opening minute and didn’t look back as they went on to outscore their opponents seven tries to four, including a first-half hat-trick for Watson Heleta.

A 20-10 lead at half-time was enough for the Sea Eagles to maintain their lead as they walked away with the two competition points. 

Heleta hit the ground running with two tries for the Sea Eagles in the opening 11 minutes of the match. Arthur set up the first with a silky pass in the opening minute and Wakeham set the second up with a pinpoint crossfield kick for an early ten-point lead. 

The Eels hit back four minutes later when second-rower Dan Keir crashed over on the right edge to bring the score to 10-4. 

Blacktown had their third try in the 21st minute through Josh Schuster. The lock showed his skill and won the ball back from a ricocheted grubber kick, going over untouched under the posts for a 16-4 lead. 

Momentum continued to stay in favour of the Sea Eagles as Heleta scored his third try to complete his hat-trick three minutes later.

Centre Clayton Faulalo chased hard and won a contested kick before offloading to Heleta, who went over in the corner for a 20-4 scoreline. 

Parramatta fullback Daejarn Asi crossed for his side’s second try in the 33rd minute off the back of a Blacktown error, taking the score to 20-10. 

The Sea Eagles came out of the gates flying in the second half with a try for Arthur in the 43rd minute. The five-eighth chipped the ball over the defence on the last tackle and it sat up perfectly for centre Lehi Hopoate to offload to Arthur who raced away to make it 26-10. 

The home side hit back quickly with a try through centre Jake Tago three minutes later, cutting the lead back down to 12 points. 

Blacktown made Parramatta pay en route to their sixth try as Hopoate dived over with ease in the 61st minute after good work from Schuster for a 32-14 scoreline.

The Eels scored five minutes later through five-eighth Brendan Hands off the back of a Blacktown error before Wakeham converted a penalty goal for a 34-20 lead.

Blacktown centre Clayton Faulalo scored to seal the victory with four minutes to play after combining well with Wakeham.

The Sea Eagles take on the St George-Illawarra Dragons in round four of the NSW Cup on Saturday, March 30 at WIN Stadium at 3.10 pm.

Sea Eagles 40 (Tries: Heleta 1’, 11’, Schuster 20’, Heleta 23’, Arthur 43’, Hopoate 61’, Faulalo 76’. Goals: Wakeham 6/8) def. Eels 20 (Tries: Keir 15’, Asi 33’, Tago 46’, Hands 66’. Goal: Asi 2/3, Sanders 0/1)