Eels impressively slide into fifth place

Pakenham Eels put Casey Warriors on the back foot with some great tackling early in the second half. 414119 Pictures: MICHAEL WINTER

By David Nagel

A fit and firing Pakenham Eels have chalked up one of their best wins of the NRL Victoria Second Grade Men’s competition with a 24-14 ‘Derby’ win over Casey Warriors on Saturday.

The Eels were full of vigour in the early stages of the contest; capitalising on their fresh legs after enjoying a week’s rest over the King’s Birthday weekend.

Pakenham had an almost full-fit list to pick from, which put it in good stead in a typically physical and intense battle between the two sides.

First-half tries to Jaylen Johansson-Joseph and Damascus Lota helped the Eels to a commanding lead going in to the second half.

The Warriors bounced back with an early try after half-time, before the Eels responded with two more of their own to race away with an impressive 10-point victory.

Kicker Nathaniel Johansson-Joseph made the most of his opportunities, converting all four tries to help the Eels move to fifth place on the ladder.

Waverley Panthers and Northern Thunder currently top the table on 15 points, with Eastern Raptors and Melton Broncos sitting in third and fourth place respectively on 10 points for the season.

The Eels now stand solely alone in fifth place, on eight points, with a winnable game against ninth-placed Altona Roosters to come.

Their round-10 clash will take place at Seabrook Reserve in Broadmeadows at 2.40pm this Saturday.

In other games on the weekend, the Under-16 Boys took on the Frankston Raiders and put on a phenomenal offensive and defensive performance with a 48 to 6 win.

The Under-14 Boys also had a fantastic game, unfortunately being narrowly beaten late in the game by Truganina Rabbitohs 28-24.

And the Under-14 Girls thoroughly enjoyed their game, despite being defeated comfortably, 64-12, by the Waverley Panthers.

All games were hosted by the Eels at their spacious headquarters at Comely Banks Recreation Reserve.