Semi Radradra too slick for depleted Melbourne Storm as Parramatta Eels improve finals hopes | photos

An undermanned Melbourne Storm fell behind early and it cost them dearly against the Parramatta Eels on Saturday night.

The full-strength Eels soared on a Semi Radradra purple patch and then rode their luck in the second half to win 22-6 at AAMI Park in front of 13,593 supporters.

The Storm were without their six Queensland State of Origin stars and lost emerging star Curtis Scott to illness before the game and should be a much stronger side when they return to the field in the next round.

Radradra ran for 199 metres and made four line breaks while also scoring a try.

The Eels had the best possible start as Radradra twice broke down the left wing and Mitchell Moses spearheaded a drive to the try line. Winger Bevan French finished in the corner to make it 4-0 on five minutes.

Radradra's third line break took him to the 20-metre line and he was only caught by fellow Fijian Suliasi Vunivalu but the Storm flyer was adjudged to have held him down too long and he was sent him off for 10 minutes for a professional foul.

The Eels lost captain Tim Mannah to a concussion but that didn't stop their rampant attack as they scored their second try on 17 minutes as they worked the ball wide to the right before French kicked back inside for Moses to score.

With Vunivalu still off the field, Radradra was almost untouchable despite the best efforts of Young Tonumaipea and the rest of the Storm's right defence.

On 22 minutes the Eels star received quick ball to his wing and he powered over to score. Clinton Gutherson's kick made it 16-0 after 23 minutes.

The Storm almost had an immediate reply after a high kick fell into the arms of Tonumaipea, who looked to have scored, but it was touched by a Storm player and ruled a knock-on.

Melbourne's half wasn't getting any better when Cheyse Blair was forced off with a right ankle injury in his return from minor ankle surgery. He was later seen using crutches and a moon boot and will need more tests this week.

But the Eels made some costly errors and let the Storm regain some confidence, leading to Brodie Croft throwing a bullet pass to Vunivalu, who broke the line at halfway and then put a grubber kick inside that fullback Jahrome Hughes chased down and turned into a try.

That left the scores 16-6 at half time.

Neither side could create a try in the first 20 minutes of the second half although both had their chances.

On 64 minutes Storm winger Josh Addo-Carr looked to be in the clear after breaking down the left wing and kicking ahead.

Addo-Carr was partially blocked in his chase by an Eels defender but the speedster still ran past him but couldn't touch down the ball.

No penalty was called and play continued.

On 70 minutes Tonumaipea looked to have intercepted a bad pass from Moses after the Eels had regathered the ball from a Storm knock-on.

But play was stopped before he could score as the Storm were ruled to be offside after their error.

Just moments later the Eels ended the contest when Gutherson scored in the right corner to finish off a rapid wide move.

Tohu Harris battled through what looked like a knee problem and he was subbed off for the final 10 minutes.

The Storm and the Eels have a bye next round.

The Storm play Canberra Raiders in Canberra the following Saturday night.

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