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Eels score rare win over injury-hit Storm

Wins against Melbourne are rare for Parramatta, but on Thursday night they scraped for a 14-0 statement victory against the depleted Storm at Bankwest Stadium.

Earlier in the week the Eels were criticised for not having the grit to win the NRL premiership, but holding Melbourne scoreless for the first time since round 12, 2014, could silence the doubters.

Leading 12-0 at halftime, the Eels hung on with just two points in the final 40 minutes as Melbourne showed physicality and sharp defence despite the class on the sidelines.

It was the first win in five games against Melbourne for the Eels.

However, there could be more pain for the injury-hit Storm with three players sweating on the NRL's charge sheet, while Brandon Smith was taken off late with a suspected broken jaw.

Enforcer Nelson Asofa-Solomona was sin-binned for high contact to the head of Eels forward Marata Niukore in the 54th minute, while two players were pinged under the NRL's latest crackdown.

The first test of the league's attempt to eradicate the crusher tackle will come on Friday morning with both Cooper Johns and Albert Vete placed on report half an hour into the game.

Earlier this week the league announced harsher penalties for crusher tackles, with a grade-one charge doubling to 200 points.

An early guilty plea would still force the player to take a one-week ban.

A grade-two charge is now 300 points, while a grade three is a whopping 500.

Losing any player will be a cruel blow for the already depleted Storm who were without Cameron Smith, Cameron Munster, Dale Finucane, Suliasi Vunivalu, Jahrome Hughes and Jesse Bromwich on Thursday night.

Bromwich will return from suspension to play Manly next week, while Hughes is also a chance to return from a groin injury after he was ruled out late on Wednesday.

Johns was called in to replace him and had a mixed night on debut, giving away a penalty for the Eels' first try to Waqa Blake 17 minutes in and placed on report later in the half.

Cult hero Maika Sivo again lit up the Bankwest Stadium crowd just before halftime with his 22nd try in 20 games at the ground.

It was a simple scrum play as Dylan Brown jumped out with the ball, fed a sharp pass to Clint Gutherson who tipped it on to the speedy winger.

The Eels are now equal with the Storm on 24 points on the ladder with five games to play before finals.

They next play South Sydney at Bankwest Stadium on Thursday.