The Canberra Raiders U20s looked poised to end their preseason with a comfortable victory over the Parramatta Eels U20s, but a late flurry of tries from the Eels saw them win 26-24 on Friday, March 8 at the Workers Arena.
The Raiders dominated the first half and led 12-4 at the break thanks to tries from Darby Medlyn and Kyle Patterson, which both came off the back of penalties, but the Eels did manage to get one of their own when Taufa Afu scored in the corner.
However, momentum would swing around completely in the second half, with a brace from John Fonua and tries to Bruce Ward and JP Nohra helping the Eels to a morale boosting victory.
Kyle Patterson bagged himself a second try for the Raiders though, while Tom Robertson got himself on the scoresheet as well.
Parramatta Eels U20s team manager Glenn Vanderwert was happy with the performance, especially with the fight showed by the team, but said discipline was a problem.
"The match ended up being a grind for us and I was glad we were able to stay in the grind," Vanderwert said.
"However, the penalty count was 8-3 against us, so we'd like to become more disciplined."
Canberra Raiders U20s coach Ash Barnes wasn't too concerned with the defeat, saying there were plenty of positives to take out of the match.
"It was a good last trial for us," Barnes said.
"We improved on a lot of the things we worked on in training.
"It was disappointing to let our lead slip, but we will take the positives out of it.
"I was pleased with the way we managed to make it difficult for the Eels to get out of their defence."
The two sides play in the Jersey Flegg Cup which begins on Friday, March 22.