Round 4, 2014 NYC

Saturday 29th March

Kickoff: 3.10pm

Venue: Pirtek Stadium, Parramatta

Ref: David Munro

Tomorrow’s NYC clash between the Panthers and the Eels will be an interesting test of strength and will, with these sides have polar opposite starts to the season. Parramatta have won all three of their games this season, while the Panthers are none from three.

Trent Barrett’s coaching debut for Penrith may not have got off to the perfect start but he is confident he and his Under 20’s are close to finding the perfect attack plan that will give them a win.

Despite going down to the Bulldogs 34-14 last weekend, the team’s overall performance was a vast improvement on previous rounds, and for Coach Barrett that showed a lot of promise. There’s still a bit of shuffling going on within the side with players being trialled in different positions, but last weekend’s line up was our best yet.

We completed sets, and our defence was outstanding, despite the obvious breaches when the opposition scored their tries. If we’d played the Dogs in rounds 1 or 2 that score line would have been very different.

Without making excuses, a major factor in the sides below average performance is that many star juniors are playing up in Penrith’s NSW Cup and NRL squads. Dallin Watene-Zelezniak, Isaah Yeo and Kierran Moseley were all key playmakers in last year’s premiership winning team, and despite being eligible for Under 20’s, they are being utilised elsewhere.

On the other side of the park, Parramatta’s young guns have had a great start to the season, and they’re quickly cementing themselves as one of the strongest attacking sides in the NYC. In just three games, they’ve scored a massive 104 points! They have some incredible enforcers in their line up and their hooking combo is second to none.

This weekend will be a tough one for the Panthers, but nothing is impossible. If they knuckle down, complete their sets and force errors from the Opposition, they could come away with the win. Parramatta will no doubt be quietly confident heading into the match.