Parramatta have stunned reigning NRL premiers South Sydney 29-16 in a thrilling encounter at Pirtek Stadium to record their first win over the Rabbitohs in five years.
Doubles in either half from rookie winger John Folau, brother of Wallabies superstar Israel Folau, and experienced wideman Reece Robinson secured a thoroughly deserved win as Michael Maguire’s side tasted defeat for the first time since round 26 last season.
The Eels, who went into the game on the back of two successive defeats, had lost the past seven matches between the sides, were magnificent with former Souths halfback Chris Sandow at the centre of everything.
An Alex Johnston try 20 minutes from time, after the visitors had withstood a barrage of pressure on their own line, gave Souths a lifeline but the expected onslaught never materialised.
Sandow kicked a field goal three minutes from time to edge his side seven points in front and then iced the game with a converted try in the final minute.
Souths started the game in ominous fashion and took the lead in the 10th minute when Joel Reddy crossed against his former club but the Eels hit back with a home debut try from Folau.
A Sandow penalty put the hosts 8-6 ahead but the visitors regained the lead when a brilliant torpedo kick had Eels fullback Will Hopoate groping thin air and Chris Grevsmuhl muscled his way over the line after being put clear by Johnston.
Folau grabbed his second try just before the break and Sandow converted the extras to give the Eels a lead they never relinquished much to the delight of the 15,562 home crowd.
In other sporting results, Moses Mbye has slotted a high-pressure 84th-minute field goal from 35m out to deliver Canterbury a 25-24 win over the Wests Tigers.
The Tigers led 24-6 after 57 minutes but the Dogs came storming back into the game to tie the scores at 24-24 and force the first golden point period of the NRL season.
In Super rugby, the Melbourne Rebels have fallen short against the Super Rugby-leading Hurricanes with a gallant 36-12 defeat in Wellington.
And the Queensland Reds’ horror start to the season has continued with an agonising 18-17 loss to the Lions at Lang Park. The Reds had what would have been a match-winning try ruled out in the 75th minute thanks to a contentious call from the video referee to deny a lunging Chris Feausai-Sautia.
The match finished at two tries apiece, with Harold Voster and Warwick Tecklenburg crossing for the Lions and the Reds awarded a penalty try to go with Samu Kerevi’s five-pointer.