A dazzling display by Bo Vette-Welsh led Parramatta to a 24-14 win over Gold Coast at CommBank Stadium on Sunday.
Vette-Welsh scored a crucial try and set a new record for the most meters gained in an NRLW match as the Eels grabbed their second win of the season.
It took the Eels just four minutes to open the scoring through halfback Maddie Studdon, taking the final pass of center Tiana Penitani.
In the 10th minute it was Penitani using her strength to hold off Titans defenders and giving the final pass for Abbi Church to score.
Already behind by eight points the Titans then found themselves down a player when Tazmin Gray was put on report and sin binned for a crusher tackle on Vette-Welsh.
Steph Hancock put the Titans back into the match with the first try of her NRLW career in the 19th minute before winger Hailee-Jay Maunsell celebrated her debut with a try in the left corner as the visitors remarkably hit the front despite being down to 12 players .
Tazmin Gray in the sin bin for a crusher tackle
A penalty goal to Studdon made it 10-10 at the break but it was the Titans regaining the lead two minutes into the second term when Destiny Brill showed great strength to beat four Eels defenders on her way to the tryline.
Eels five-eighth Emily Curtain snared a try in her NRLW debut to pull the home side level at 14-14.
Superstar fullback Bo Vette-Welsh capped a magnificent game when she used her speed and evasive skills to score with 17 minutes to play and Parramatta were back in front at 20-14.
Destiny Brill fires her way through the Eels line
The Eels then put the finishing touches on the victory when Christian Pio scored with eight minutes to play to make it 24-14.
Studdon’s conversion attempt hit the uprights – the third time for the afternoon the Eels’ kicker had hit the woodwork.
- Bo Vette-Welsh’s record breaking 260 running meters, seven tackle breaks and two line breaks gave her a points decision over Evania Pelite (159 meters, nine tackle breaks) in the battle of the fullbacks.
- Steph Hancock made her Test debut for the JIllaroos in 2003, the year before team-mate Hailee-Jay Maunsell was born. Both players grabbed the first try of their NRLW careers against the Eels.
- Titans hooker Brittany Breayley-Nati left the field in the eighth minute for a HIA which she passed and was able to re-enter the game.
- Two weeks after she was left sporting a massive shiner in round one, Eels interchange hooker Therese Aiton was forced from the field for a HIA after a head clash left her with a badly cut lip. She passed the HIA and returned to the field but was forced off again when the bleeding could not be stopped.
- The Titans were unlucky to give up two points just before half-time when they kicked the ball out on the full and were penalised after believing time was up. The siren had actually gone off six minutes early and the game clock had gone to zero but the penalty stood.
Play of the Game
Veteran front-rower Steph Hancock celebrated her 40th birthday on Wednesday and marked the milestone with a barnstorming try from close range to get the Titans back into the game in the 19th minute. The former Jillaroos captain made her International debut way back in 2003, winning multiple World Cups in the green and gold as well appearing 16 times for Queensland. Still going strong at 40, Hancock made 76 meters and got through 23 tackles.
Stephanie Hancock gets the short-handed Titans on the board
What they said
“This [game] was probably one we all had on our calendars, to come here to Parra and play in front of a home crowd. We wanted to have a good experience and they deserved a great day out there. We continue to learn and improve, we’ve got a lot of experienced players who are evolving their game. You could see some of the lessons learned last week, how quickly we could apply that this week.” – Eels coach Dean Widders
“I thought we might’ve learned our lessons in round one, but just basic, fundamentals cost us again and we don’t have too many games left to make up for it.” – Titans coach Jamie Feeney
Gold Coast Titans
The Titans head home on Saturday to host the Broncos at Cbus Super Stadium in round four. It’s sure to be a special occasion for Simaima Taufa and her team as they play their first ever match in front of the Titans faithful.
The Eels take on the Roosters in the first game of a double-header at McDonald Jones Stadium on Sunday.