5. Eels 22-12 Manly at Parramatta Stadium. Round 24, 2014 – Crowd 17,706
The Eels had won three of their past four heading into this encounter and narrowly lost their last clash to the Bulldogs, 18-16 after a dubious call by the referee disallowed Chris Sandow from scoring what would have been the match-winner. A roaring home crowd was desperate for finals football to return to Parramatta but after going down 12-0 by half-time, there were concerns yet again of failing to make the cut. Early in the second half though, Kenny Edwards crashed his way over on the short side for his first NRL try before Semi Radradra ran a blistering 90 metres after grasping Kieran Foran’s cross-field kick and escaping four Manly defenders. Tries to Will Hopoate and Vai Toutai followed to cap off a memorable night for the Eels. Unfortunately, the Eels fell to cellar-dwellers Newcastle and Canberra in the final two rounds of the season to miss out again, by just two points.
4. Eels 26-18 Tigers at SFS. Round 24, 2009 – Crowd 34,272
One of the highest-billed matches of the century, both sides were in red-hot form with the Eels emerging as late finals contenders after five straight wins. Jarryd Hayne vs Benji Marshall was an anticipated battle which didn’t disappoint as the Tigers pivot struck the first blows when he created brilliant tries for Blake Ayshford(off a classy flick pass) and Beau Ryan for an 8-0 lead. Luke Burt ran in a try afterwards and was kneed in the back by Bryce Gibbs in the process to be awarded an eight-point try for an 8-8 half-time score-line. A Jarryd Hayne cut-out pass gave Krisnan Inu space to score before Tigers responded through John Morris. But a Feleti Mateo offload created a mind-boggling try after it went through five sets of hands with Jeff Robson finishing it off. Beau Ryan scored his second to create a tense finish at 20-18 to the Eels before the man of the moment, Jarryd Hayne produced a moment of individual brilliance – a chip-and-chase to regather to score next to the posts.
3. Eels 68-22 Broncos at Parramatta Stadium. Round 25, 2007 – Crowd 17,112
After losing their last three matches, the Eels wanted to reach their highest position possible with a good result over a depleted Broncos outfit in the final match of the regular season. Despite Ian Hindmarsh scoring first in his last home match, the Broncos scored three quick tries to lead 16-6 before the Eels scored five unanswered tries through Hayne, Inu, Tahu, Grothe and Hindmarsh completing his double in the first half to round out a 34-16 half-time score-line. A try to the Broncos’ dual representative Brad Thorn brought the margin to 12 after half-time before the Eels ran away with it after a scintillating performance that produced a hatrick for Krisnan Inu while Jarryd Hayne, Timana Tahu, Ian Hindmarsh, Feleti Mateo all grabbed doubles in a 46-point romp.
2. Eels 25-12 Dragons at WIN Jubilee Oval. Finals Week One 2009 – Crowd 18,174
After copping a 37-0 hammering at Kogarah in Round 26, the Eels returned the next week for the first week of the finals, knowing they would be out with a loss. Daniel Mortimer latched onto a Jeff Robson bomb before offloading to Luke Burt to score under the sticks before Mortimer scored himself after Jarryd Hayne broke from his own half before a Dan Hunt four-pointer brought the score to 12-8 in favour of Parramatta. No further points were scored until the hour mark when Eric Grothe raced 95 metres from an intercept before Brett Morris responded for a six-point margin. Luke Burt sealed the result with a stunning field goal from 40 metres out while Jarryd Hayne put the icing on the cake after a jinking diagonal run produced a memorable try and an extraordinary win.
1. Eels 22-12 Bulldogs at ANZ Stadium. Finals Week Three 2009 – Crowd 74,549
It had been labelled Sydney’s Grand Final and rightly so, after these two sides attracted over 74,000 fans for the first Preliminary Final in 2009. After brutally physical opening exchanges, the Dogs struck first after an unlikely provider Hazem El Masri grubbered for Bryson Goodwin to pounce on. Jarryd Hayne’s knees collected Goodwin’s head after the put-down forcing Tony Archer to award an eight-point try though El Masri could only convert the goal in front. In the 24th minute, Hayne spectacularly brushed off three would-be tacklers to pass to Joe Galuvao to dive over and level the scores with Burt’s kick. 5 minutes before half-time, Josh Morris beat Hayne to a Ben Roberts kick to push the Dogs to a 12-6 lead at halftime. Ten minutes into the second half and Krisnan Inu skilfully took a Mateo pass before setting up Luke Burt to reduce the score-line to 12-10 before just five minutes later Tim Mannah scored his first career try after Hayne was provider again. With only ten left on the clock, an explosive Fuifui Moimoi charged onto a pass from Mortimer before his 25 metre burst ended after he released the ball to Burt. Burt ran cross-field until sending Jeff Robson through a hole who delivered the final pass to Mortimer again who stepped away from Bryson Goodwin to send the Eels to the 2009 Grand Final.