Eels beat Bulldogs to leave NRL wooden spoon race open
The race to avoid the NRL wooden spoon is well and truly alive after Parramatta ground out a dour 14-8 win over Canterbury at Sydney's Olympic stadium on Thursday night.
The Bulldogs burst out of the blocks in the opening 15 minutes but fell in a heap in the second half, as the Eels ran over the top of them to break a three-match losing streak.
Parramatta remains in last spot, however the win moved the Eels to 10 points, equal with the Bulldogs and North Queensland, who take on St George Illawarra on Saturday.
In front of a disappointing crowd of 8437, there were few highlights in a match marked by errors and penalties.
The Bulldogs' fifth-tackle options in particular were woeful in the second half, as halves Lachlan Lewis and Jeremy Marshall-King failed to impose themselves on the game.
The Eels took the lead for the first time in the 53rd minute when a Lewis grubber ricocheted off Nathan Brown and Mitchell Moses ran 90 metres untouched.
A Moses penalty goal in the 69th minute gave the Eels an eight-point buffer before two points from Rhyse Martin with seven minutes to play set up a tense finish.
The Eels held on to secure just their second win in their last 10 starts and fourth victory of the season.
Earlier, the Bulldogs opened up a 6-0 lead when Kerrod Holland shot through a gaping hole close to the line in just the seventh minute.
But the Eels were back on level pegging by half-time after Brett Morris was sin-binned for holding back Bevan French.
Kaysa Pritchard blew a golden chance the set immediately after Morris went for 10 when he lofted a forward pass.
The Eels hooker, however, atoned just minutes later when he finished off a Tepai Moeroa break.
The Bulldogs also have concerns over forward Clay Priest, who left the field in the second half with what appeared to be a right hand injury.