Gutherson stars, Eels pound Dogs in NRL

Clint Gutherson scored two tries and provided the quick hands for another as Parramatta continued their winning ways with a 32-10 NRL victory over Canterbury.

In a clinical performance, the Eels led from the outset and quickly put paid to any hopes of a Bulldogs comeback early in the second half after two straight tries.

It took them to 7-1 for just the fifth time in their history, with the Eels now second on the table and behind only western Sydney rival Penrith at the top.

But Saturday’s win didn’t come without its concerns, with Nathan Brown suffering a hip injury.

At one stage there were fears the injury was serious, but it’s hoped the Eels lock could return within weeks.

Meanwhile Gutherson was supreme.

The Eels co-captain is often overlooked in the conversation of the game’s elite fullbacks, but he showed he is still among the most skilful.

After being involved in four tries last week against Brisbane, the Eels captain again looked at ease against the Bulldogs.

He claimed the game’s first when he loomed in support play after a Reed Mahoney bust from dummy half, with the hooker continuing his great start to the season.

Gutherson’s second came when he slipped through the Bulldogs’ paper-thin defence, making it 16-0 within 21 minutes and all but killing off the contest.

By the night’s end, he had bust nine tackles and ran more than 200 metres before earning an early shower from coach Brad Arthur.

The fullback wasn’t alone in starring for the Eels at Stadium Australia.

Canterbury were the only side Maika Sivo hadn’t scored against in his 53-game career before Saturday night.

By fulltime, he also had a double against them.

The first was a powerful effort from an Oregon Kaufusi offload, while his second after the break came off the back of Gutherson’s quick hands via a tap on.

Bryce Cartwright also looked good, following on his good night against the Broncos with a bat-back for a Shaun Lane try and nice ball for Marata Niukore to cross.

About the only first-half highlight for Canterbury was a heavy hit from Ava Seumanufagai which rocked Shaun Lane.

But even that backfired because from the scrum the Bulldogs were pushed back into their in-goal and forced into a goaline dropout.

Otherwise they went the entire opening 40 minutes without earning a play-the-ball inside the attacking 20-metre zone.

Jake Averillo and Dallin Watene-Zelezniak crossed in quick succession in the second half to make it 22-12.

But when Sivo put on a powerful run in the lead-up to the Niukore try their faint hope was over, with Dylan Napa suffering a game-ending shoulder injury.


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