NRL Saturday LIVE: Sharks and Bulldogs locked at half time at Commbank swimming pool - Wide World of Sports


Is there anything more iconic in the NRL than the Parramatta Eels playing poorly against lower-ranked sides? Is there a team in this year's comp who are harder to judge than them? They're the epitome of a tipster's nightmare. They got flogged by the Bulldogs three weeks ago, but then played like superstars the week after against the Roosters. Maybe the week off didn't help them, but even still, at no stage tonight did they look like a team capable of winning. It's hard to believe they're the only team in the comp to have beaten the Panthers, and they managed that on the road in Penrith - where to that point the Panthers had won more than 20 on the trot. Questions are starting to be asked not only about Brad Arthur, but also of the Eels' senior players in Clint Gutherson and Mitch Moses. Tom Opacic, Reed Mahoney, Isaiah Papali'i, Oregon Kaufusi, Ray Stone and Marata Niukore are all leaving the club come season's end. It's fair to say if the Eels don't get it together this season that drought might just stretch close to 40 years. That wraps up Wide World of Sports' NRL Saturday live blog. We'll be back tomorrow for the Warriors' return to Mt Smart Stadium against Wests Tigers at 2pm (AEST), followed by the Dragons and Raiders from Wollongong at 4pm. Tweet Facebook Mail Raiders star reported over dangerous tackle Elliott Whitehead saw his name taken as Blake Lawrie fumed over this tackle in the first half. an hour ago 00:53 Young gets Raiders off to perfect start Hudson Young struck inside the opening minutes as the Raiders capitalised on a Dragons error. 2 hours ago 00:14 Cowboys icon discusses Green's death 2015 Cowboys premiership hero Matt Scott says he is still "shaken" by the death of his old coach Paul Green. 2 hours ago 05:58 On his return to the NRL, Latrell Mitchell was brilliant. He kicked five goals, ran 120 metres, made to tackle busts and an assist. And he's wrapped it up by announcing he would be pulling himself out of contention for Origin III selection. On Fox, Mitchell told the panel he would be focussing his energy on South's run into the finals. "I think I'm going to shut down the headlines now. I'm going to pull myself out and worry about Souths, focus on myself," he said. "They've got a really good team there at NSW - good luck to Burton in the centres, and give Crichton a go, too. Let him have a go, let him bleed in. "I just really want to focus on South Sydney and myself, and get myself right for the back end of the season." Cooper Cronk said it was "a very selfless act". Of the game though, Mitchell said the rain helped him in his return. "The body held up well but the lungs are on fire. The rain helped me out a bit to slow the game down and welcome me back on the field." "It was real good to get back. I haven't sacrificed this much in such a short perioud to get myself right, and felt good, emotionally, physically, mentally, and I've grown so much and matured ... I'm 25 now so I'm getting on a bit." Final score, Rabbitohs 30-12. Tweet Facebook Mail It's not much, but it's something. Gutherson sells a great dummy and crosses for his second of the night. Parramatta have only had 11 play-the-balls inside South's 20m, such has been the domination for the Bunnies. Moses drills the conversion, and the Rabbitohs lead 30-12. Tweet Facebook Mail As the rain returned, so did the Rabbitohs domination of field position. The Bunnies move swiftly right, and Jaxson Paulo breaks the second half deadlock. In commentary for Fox Sports, Shane Flanagan said the Bunnies are "the best side in the comp when they go around the outside". "We know how good Alex Johnston is, but this time they come to the right hand side and Paulo. They get on the outside of their defenders, and they've got speed, the ball's out in front, they are a classy football team when they spread the ball, and the rain has not affected their shifts" The conversion is good. Two plays later they're in again! This time it's a Damien Cook. Mitchell sets it up by rolling over Reed Mahoney and running through the gap. He gets it off to Lachy Ilias, who gets it away to Damien Cook at full tilt, who surely seals the game for the Rabbitohs. Tweet Facebook Mail We're back at Accor Stadium. It's stopped raining, but conditions are far from dry. Both sides have had early chances to score, but defensive lines have so far been up for it. Still the Rabbitohs 18-6. Tweet Facebook Mail I mentioned earlier how quickly this game can change. From no-where, Mitch Moses tries to tap the ball on, but he only taps it straight into the hands of Alex Johnston who runs 50m to score under the dot. The conversion is good, and the Rabbitohs hit the shed 18-6 up - a score more reflective of the domination the boys from Redfern have shown in the first half. Brad Arthur will be hoping someone from the NT can lend him a leftover firecracker from Territory Day last night, because something needs to be lit under the Eels backside if they're going to stay in this match. Tweet Facebook Mail The Rabbitohs have forced five dropouts in this clash, and they're only leading 12-6. They've had so much field position, but the Eels have managed to weather the storm. They're back on the attack now the Eels, and they're in good field position. If they can go into the break level, Parramatta will have their entire season's worth of luck. But, the kick from Gutherson is long, and the status quo remains. Tweet Facebook Mail The Eels have had to do a lot of defending early in this clash, and Jackson Paulo just came within a big-toe of scoring the Bunnies third. The Rabbitohs shift quickly to the right, and Waqa Blake forces Paulo into touch just as he grounds the Steeden. Hold on though, the Bunnies give a cheap penalty and the Eels rapidly get down the other end and Shaun Lane puts Clint Gutherson (who does his absolute best to spill it) over to get the Eels on the board. Mitch Moses puts the conversion over the black dot, and it's back to a six point gap. How quickly things can change. Tweet Facebook Mail.