Parramatta star Clint Gutherson sealed a memorable Eels victory in golden point with a perfect field goal crushing Canberra’s late comeback.
The Eels won 25-24 in extra time after conceding two tries to the Raiders in the final minutes of regular time.
Both sides had shots at the match-winning field goal but missed, until Gutherson stepped up from right in front and kicked true.
However the win might have come at a cost, with star halfback Mitchell Moses suffering a suspected calf injury in the first half of Saturday night’s contest.
Moses appeared to show signs of discomfort when trying to come off the defensive line before eventually limping off the Bankwest Stadium field.
Parramatta looked set to overcome the loss of their chief playmaker when they surged to a 12-point lead with 12 minutes remaining.
However, the Raiders stormed back to force extra time through two Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad tries in three minutes. The Canberra fullback first pounced on a George Williams kick in the 76th minute, before finishing off an Elliott Whitehead line break in the return set.
Jack Wighton, Gutherson and Williams all had looks at a game-winning field goal in the first period of extra time, but all failed to convert.
But the Eels’ captain didn’t waste his second opportunity, stepping up from 30 metres out to seal Parramatta’s sixth win from their opening seven games.
The Eels remain at the top of the ladder, while the Raiders have lost three of their past four matches and might drop as low as seventh.
It was a thrilling finish to a contest which was almost moved after two ACL injuries to Sydney Roosters players on Friday night prompted an emergency inspection.
The surface was cleared early on Saturday morning by the league, however both teams were instructed to warm up in the sheds instead of on the ground.
The adjustment failed to deter Parramatta, who claimed the opening points through a routine right-side shift for Ryan Matterson to score.
A Reed Mahoney forward pass swung the momentum back Canberra’s way, with Josh Papalii strolling through untouched in the 19th minute.
There was a flashpoint soon after when Corey Horsburgh reacted angrily to tackle by Matterson, before exiting with a suspected foot injury.
Moses limped from the field soon after, and the Eels reduced the halftime deficit to four with a penalty goal just before the break.
Parramatta dominated most of the second half, regaining the lead first through Ray Stone before their dangerous left edge exposed Canberra’s frail right.
First, Michael Jennings latched onto a Shaun Lane offload, before Maika Sivo finished off a Gutherson cutout, only for Canberra to roar home.
The Raiders will also wait anxiously on the match review report with both Josh Hodgson and Jordan Rapana cited over separate incidents.
Hodgson was booked for a tackle around the neck of Eels winger Blake Ferguson, while Rapana might be in hot water for a swinging arm on Sivo.