The Eels have out-played the Panthers in a high intensity trial match at Pepper Stadium this evening, going home with a 30-22 win.
Despite the score, Ivan Cleary and his team can take plenty of positives away from the game, with Jamal Idris, Sam Mckendry and Dave Simmons all making impressive returns from injury.
George Jennings scored two tries and we saw some great defence by the whole Panthers outfit.
Here’s how the match played out.
The Panthers scored the first try of the match 8 minutes in after James Segeyaro scooped the ball up from dummy half, spun on his heel and sent it to Captain Peter Wallace, who flicked it to Dean Whare who then lobbed a pass out to an unmarked Dave Simmons on the wing, and he sprinted the last few metres to get the ball down over the line. Jamie Soward’s sideline conversion sailed straight through the posts to put Penrith in front 6-0 lead.
The next 20 minutes saw the ball bounce from one end of the field to the other, but the defence from both sides stood strong. That was until a bit of a miscommunication 30m out from the Eels line when a Parramatta grubber kick hit the feet of Soward and bounced back into the hands of a Parra player. Play continued, which caught our boys off-guard and left several Eels players unmarked, including Reece Robinson. After being handed the ball on the sideline he jogged 15m to get it over the line. The conversion was successful, so the scores drew level at 6-6.
A few minutes later the Panthers hit back after some quick passes to the left saw Ben Murdoch-Masila throw a beautiful ball to George Jennings, who dodged a couple of Eels defenders to get over the line and score. Soward’s kick sailed straight through the posts to put Penrith head again 12-6.
With three minutes until the half time break, Parra’s Reece Robinson bagged his second try after intercepting a Panthers pass on our 20m line and sprinting 80m down the field to score unopposed. They once again evened the score at 12-12 as the siren sounded.
HALF TIME: 12-12
Reece Robinson scored his hat trick for the Eels a few minutes into the second half after he was left unmarked near the sideline, and sprinted past several Panthers defenders to get the ball down. He converted his own try to put Parra ahead 18-12.
But it wasn’t long before Penrith hit back with another Jennings try, and this time it was younger sibling Robert who was on the end of some quick passes from Wallace, Moylan and then Whare, who flicked it to the 19 year old sending him sprinting to the line. Sowie’s kick was waved away, so the score went to 18-16.
Parra crossed for their fourth try after being awarded a penalty 20m out from their line and taking a quick tap, before fullback Will Hopoate scooted around the back of our defenders and ran in to score. The conversion extended their lead to 24-16 in the 52nd minute.
10 minutes later they were over again after taking advantage of a huge overlap in players. Corey Norman threw a massive cut out pass to Semi Radradra on the sideline, who sprinted over to score. The conversion pushed them even further out in front 30-16.
With less than 5 minutes on the clock, George Jennings scored his second try of the game! After being left unmarked on the sideline, he collected a quick flick pass from Will Smith and ran over the line to score. Sowie’s conversion added the extra two, narrowing the score line to 30-22.
FULL TIME: 30-22 Eels