Parramatta halfback Mitchell Moses rued some errant kicking off the tee as his Eels lost their third game in a row.
Moses left six points on the table as his team lost by four in a 34-30 defeat to old enemy Manly at Brookvale Oval.
Both sides scored six tries, but it was goal kicking that proved the difference as Sea Eagles winger Reuben Garrick knocked over four, and Haumole Olakau’atu chimed in by converting his own try late in the game.
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Moses had a bad miss late in the first half when he shanked one across the sticks from close range, which would have made it 14-12 at the break after Manly shot out to an early 14-0 lead.
Then late in the piece when the result was on the line, the halfback had two conversion attempts from virtually the same spot – near the left-hand sideline – but pushed both across the face again.
Moses was asked about the missed conversions by Nine’s Brad Fittler after the game.
“I’ve got to kick them,” he said.
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“That’s my job, and I didn’t kick them.”
Moses cast a defeated figure after Parramatta lost a third close one in a row to start the season winless.
Eels robbed of try by suspect call
The heat is well and truly on the Eels, who lost last year’s grand final to Penrith.
They were awful in the opening exchanges against Manly as the Sea Eagles ran in two tries and a penalty goal before the half-hour mark.
“We just didn’t give ourselves a chance at the start there, (gave them) a 14-0 lead, silly errors,” he told Fittler.
“It’s frustrating, but I feel like (a win) is not far away at all. For three weeks we’ve been in the game to the last second.”
While the Eels had a horror start to the night, they very nearly snatched victory from the jaws of defeat.
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Will Penisini bombed a try and then Reagan Campbell-Gillard crossed the stripe but had his four-pointer denied by a forward pass call from the touch judge, that looked dubious at best.
Parramatta got within four points when veteran hooker Josh Hodgson somehow broke the line and ran 30 metres to score, but the Eels coughed it straight back up and handed Olakau’atu a try on a silver platter to essentially end the game.
“If I’m either coach I go home scratching my head, thinking what was that,” Phil Gould said at full time.
“Manly were home, then they were in trouble, then they were home.”
The Eels next take on Penrith in round four, while Manly faces South Sydney.
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