Two tries and three assists as Dylan downs Dogs and keeps Eels top four hopes alive

A Dylan Brown masterclass has fired Parramatta back into top four contention as they defeated the Bulldogs 42-6 at CommBank Stadium.

In front of a healthy 26,451 crowd, Brown stole the show with two tries and three try assists to tear Canterbury apart and restore his side to within two points of fourth-placed Melbourne. With a trip to Brisbane and a home tie against the Storm on the final weekend, it is still in their hands.

Even if they don’t make the top four, it is all but secure that Parramatta will return to CommBank Stadium for a home final. On this form, they will be hard to beat – though it bears repeating that Parramatta’s form is up and down like a fiddler’s elbow.

Brown had far too much for the Dogs, and was ably assisted by the returning Mitchell Moses. Playing with the broken finger that had ruled him out of the last two weeks, the halfback was decisive in getting the Eels’ attack up and running in the first half and created three of his own as well, two of which were for Brown.

The Dogs have nothing to play for and are now licking their wounds after a second thrashing in consecutive weeks. They welcomed back Luke Thompson after a prolonged absence, but his return was a rare high point on an afternoon where they were conclusively outplayed.

Canterbury did take an early lead through a penalty goal, but once Parra began playing, they did not let up.

Will Penisini got the first at the right corner – Josh Addo-Carr was nowhere to be seen on his edge, with the Eels returning to the same well for the second as a smart short side play from Moses found Waqa Blake.

They didn’t have it all their own way. After a needless forward pass in their own end, Parra gifted possession to Canterbury and, from a scrum play, they struck through Aaron Schoupp.

Brown then made his first major intervention, producing a spectacular pass for Maika Sivo on the left. It might have been more before the break, with Isaiah Papali’i twice breaking through the middle but unable to convert into points.

As the second half began, the stranglehold got tighter. Brown laid on a try for Ryan Matterson on the right, and on the left, Tom Opacic tore through the line for another.

Brown then grabbed two of his own in quick succession. Both were off Mitchell Moses kicks: one requiring the Kiwi half to show some silky soccer skills to dribble around Jave Averillo, the second a simple footrace between Brown and the Dogs’ fullback.

The Dogs didn’t go away. Addo-Carr thought he had scored after Brown struggled to ground a kick, and Max King broke late down the middle but couldn’t find Tevita Pangai jnr. Matt Burton made a late break, but the Parramatta defence showed supreme commitment to scramble and stop the try.

They were rewarded for their effort, with Blake grabbing a last second score as the tired Dogs resolve crumbled.

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