Debutant Jakob Arthur seals Eels win over Warriors after 39-year start
The Parramatta Eels have held on to second on the NRL ladder with a hard fought 34-18 win over the New Zealand Warriors at Magic Round.
The Eels looked to have blown the Warriors off the park early, racing out to a big lead before New Zealand threatened to storm back.
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The 24-0 lead after just 19 minutes was the fastest the Eels had reached the tally in the Origin era, dating back to 1982, according to the Fox League coverage.
Making it even more special as the Eels look to end a 35-year premiership drought, the Eels’ golden age was the 80s with all four of the club’s premierships coming in the decade.
The Eels won from 1981 to 1983 as well as the club’s last premiership in 1986.
The Warriors normally pride themselves on their handling and completion but struggled throughout the first half.
But the Warriors responded in the second half, sparked by 18-year-old wunderkind Reece Walsh and threatened an incredible comeback, narrowing the lead to 28-18 with 20 minutes remaining.
Jakob Arthur scores his first try.Source:FOX SPORTS
The result was sealed with five minutes remaining however as the 18-year-old son of Eels coach Brad Arthur, Jakob Arthur scored on debut, splitting the Warriors defence and getting to the line.
Reece Walsh and Jake Arthur just put the “Magic” back into Magic Round! #NRLMagicRound
That Brad Arthur reaction was the best ever!!!#NRLMagicRound
It led to a rare show of emotion from the coach as Arthur Senior punched the air.
“Let’s not understate this moment, the 18-year-old on debut senses the moment, takes the line on,” Fox League’s Matt Russell said. “Dad in the coaches box, mum Michelle and siblings Matt and Charlotte in the Grandstand, and there it is, they erupt. We’ve got some great scenes here.”
Brad Arthur showed some rare emotion.Source:FOX SPORTS
The family were hugging in the crowd as well, and chanting “Jakob, Jakob”.
After the game, Arthur Junior said he was grateful for the opportunity, with friends and family in the stand having driven 10 hours to see him play.
“It’s unbelievable, you can’t put it into words,” he told Fox League after the game. “You dream about those things to happen, unreal for them to happen.”
In his post-match press conference, coach Arthur was still seemingly feeling the emotion after the game, thanking the playing group for making it a special day for the Arthur family saying “the boys weren’t going to do anything else but win for him”.
“It was a long week and then when we go to kickoff, I just wanted the game to be over to tell you the truth,” Arthur said. “I’m proud of the playing group and they made it a special day for me and my family.”
He said he punched the air more because it sealed the victory that it being just his son.
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