Parramatta ride luck to topple champions

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The Independent Online

Parramatta survived an error-ridden semi-final to beat Brisbane 24-16 to secure a meeting with Newcastle in next Sunday's National Rugby League Grand Final in Sydney.

Despite losing possession regularly, the Eels led at half-time with two tries from Jason Moodie and one from P J Marsh, against touchdowns by Dane Carlaw and Shane Berrigan for Brisbane.

The former Hull and Bradford coach, Brian Smith, saw his side extend their advantage through the outstanding Jamie Lyon. Lote Tuqiri hit back for the reigning champions, but two penalties from Jason Taylor enabled Parramatta to hang on.

They will start as favourites at Stadium Australia against the Knights, who beat Cronulla 18-10 in a classic on Saturday.

Wayne Bartrim, who is joining Castleford next season, has left his Australian club St George-Illawarra under a cloud after it emerged that he fought with his former captain, Nathan Brown, before the play-off game against Brisbane. The incident, which follows a punch-up with another team-mate, Darren Treacy, took place at an awards evening and the club's chief executive, Peter Doust, admitted that they had had enough of Bartrim's brawling.

"The opportunity to make a fresh start in England will be welcomed by Wayne and his family," he said.

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