Kennedy treble steers Sharks to NRL win over Eels

Parramatta coach Brad Arthur says he will find out what his side is made of in the next month as Cronulla fullback Will Kennedy extended the Eels' grand final hangover by scoring a hat-trick in a 30-26 Sharks win.

After falling to Penrith in last year's decider, the Eels are 0-2 to start the 2023 campaign following round one's loss to Melbourne and Friday's defeat to the Sharks.

They face a gruelling run, taking on Manly, the Panthers and the Sydney Roosters before the end of March.

"It's a good challenge for us because over the last few seasons we've started the seasons really well," Arthur said.

"We'll learn a bit about our group.

"We were still fighting to try and win the game at the back end and we put ourselves in a position with 10 seconds to go."

Arthur was left to rue a missed opportunity as his side cruised out to 10-0 lead in the opening 10 minutes at CommBank Stadium, courtesy of tries from Reagan Campbell-Gillard and Maika Sivo.

In Mitchell Moses' 200th NRL game, the Eels struggled to turn the screw with their advantage and it was opposing halfback Braydon Trindall who rose to the occasion.

Trindall, who continues to deputise for reigning Dally M medallist Nicho Hynes, sent Briton Nikora and Kennedy over in the space of five minutes to get Cronulla back into the contest.

"Tricky (Trindall) is only just getting started, he's not a whole lot of first grade halfback footy," Sharks coach Craig Fitzgibbon said.

"We know in the next few years he's got all the tools to be a really strong halfback and we're stoked he's chosen to stick around with us."

Moses and Kennedy traded tries prior to the halftime break, with Sivo grabbing his second try soon after the interval.

Parramatta had all the ball and territory in the opening period of the second half but they couldn't make it count.

"We controlled the game and had good field position there and there were just a couple of moments that we didn't get right which in the end hurt us," Arthur said.

One of those was when the Eels were camped in Cronulla territory and captain Clint Gutherson threw a pass straight into the arms of Ronaldo Mulitalo.

The Sharks winger raced up field and while he was dragged down by Moses, Kennedy scored off the next set for his first NRL hat-trick.

Mulitalo extended Cronulla's lead further with an acrobatic finish and while Moses crossed for a double to set up a grandstand finish, the visitors were able to hold on to grab their first win of the season.

"You don't come here and get a free hit," Fitzgibbon said.

"I thought we had an opportunity to put the screws into them and I'm a bit disappointed that we left them off the hook at times.

"I'm proud of the spirit and the effort of them, we'll get the tactical bits right but relying on each other like we did ... I'm proud of that."