Dylan Brown makes splash in Eels' NRL win

Parramatta have held out a brave Cronulla 14-12 in a rain-sodden NRL clash at Kogarah Oval.
Parramatta have held out a brave Cronulla 14-12 in a rain-sodden NRL clash at Kogarah Oval.

Dylan Brown called on childhood lessons from playing in wet and wild Auckland to pilot Parramatta to a 14-12 win over Cronulla at a waterlogged Kogarah Oval.

In atrocious conditions that left players sliding everywhere and the ball stopping dead in on-field water puddles, Cronulla lost despite scoring three tries to two.

Brown and Sharks counterpart Shaun Johnson both put on wet-weather masterclasses, with the Kiwis feeling at home in the most difficult circumstances.

"Towards the end it was like a mud patch, it was actually pretty fun," Brown said.

"It was just like New Zealand back home in winter. It's the exact same in rugby league season back home.

"Shaun has been doing it whole life and he had a real good game tonight as well."

Brown's performance was arguably one of the best of his short career.

As Mitchell Moses controlled the match perfectly close to the line, forcing five line dropouts in the slugfest, the 20-year-old Brown provided all the points-scoring plays.

He got the game's first try when he fooled the Sharks' goal-line defence, dummying left before darting over from dummy-half in the 19th minute.

The five-eighth's superb day continued after the break when he dummied his way to the line and offloaded for Kane Evans to score.

"Dylan was very good," coach Brad Arthur said.

"He played the conditions nearly best in our team. It's not bad for a young bloke."

But Johnson almost gave the Sharks the game off his own bat in reply, and they would have won if not for his boot.

Having kicked for Jesse Ramien for the Sharks' first try, he put a juggling Ronaldo Mulitalo over for their next with a cut-out ball to make it 12-8.

From the next set he kicked a 40-20 as Eels fullback Clint Gutherson let the ball go into touch.

It put Cronulla on the attack and allowed Johnson and Will Kennedy to find Mulitalo to go back against the grain and beat three defenders to score

His goalkicking wasn't up to it though, missing all three from the sidelines in tough conditions.

And when the match turned on a crucial two minutes, it proved costly.

With scores locked at 12-12, the Eels were allowed to play on from a Blake Ferguson fumble before Brown broke free.

They worked down field and then forced a scrum win against the feed, before winning a penalty when Braden Hamlin-Uele hit Reagan Campbell-Gillard off the ball.

It allowed the Eels to kick 14-12 clear, and frustrated Sharks coach John Morris as Cronulla were left in eighth spot after just their second loss in eight weeks.

"Blake Ferguson knocked that ball on coming out of his end," Morris said.

"Under-sevens watching that game of football know that's a knock-on

"Our boys stopped, Dylan Brown makes a break and another 50-50 penalty goes against us (for crowding).

"Then they have the Lane error and that scrum.

"I'm not quite sure what that scrum was but it looked pretty ugly to me. I've seen a lot of those throughout the year get called back."

Australian Associated Press