Eliab scored two tries, one on either end of the half, to also collect the man of the match award.
His first a 90-metre length of the field try opened up the scorecard minutes off a run of play where he scooped up the loose ball and sprinted away.
The second was an equally crucial one which broke the “arm wrestle” between both sides as the game was still in the balance with the scores at 12-4.
After a scrum win Eliab split through the Falcons defence with fleet footwork and a great dummy to put his side in good position to grind out the victory.
It was a tough game and coach Michael Marum will be happy with the two competition points plus the fact the Hunters do not have to travel back home as they prepare for Friday’s Anzac Day match against the Burleigh Bears.
However, there will be anxious moments for the team as two players lock Dion Aiye and front rower Timothy Lomai were placed on report for dangerous tackles.
It was a game the Hunters could have comfortably won with two great try opportunities, which went to waste because the last pass didn’t stick.
Many were hoping for the Hunters to put the winless Falcons away early and open the floodgates for points to give them a good points for and against percentage.
But the Falcons coached by former Brisbane Broncos coach Ivan Henjak did their homework on the Hunters and stayed in the contest throughout.
The blown Hunters try chances were on either side of each half with a Willie Minoga pass to fullback Adex Wera dropped as he tried to ground it.
The other wasted opportunity was in the second half when a slick backline movement saw the ball pass through several hands before centre Thompson Teteh’s pass to winger Garry Lo was dropped by the flyer.
Lo was a hit with the Channel 9 commentators – his antics when he fielded a kick and ran cross-field before straightening up would have had the Hunters coaching staff in agony – was great entertainment because of the way it ended up.
Aside from that “blemish” Lo was an excitement machine and his kick returns were quite impressive.
The Falcons despite the loss will take a well-earned break next round due to the bye and get a confidence boost that if they get their execution right a win is not too far away.
For the Hunters their defence particularly in their red zone was impressive when they successfully repelled the continuous Falcons raids.
However, they will be again reminded that if they create opportunities in attack they need to be converted into points.