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The NYC Panthers have crashed out of the Holden Cup after going down to Parramatta Eels 28-6 in a Preliminary Final at Allianz Stadium.

The Panthers had their chances to control the contest in the first half but poor execution and defensive lapses allowed the Eels to claim a lead that they wouldn’t relinquish.

The Eels took advantage of a shaky start by the Panthers when they opened the scoring in the 7th minute through fullback Anthony Layoun. Dylan Brown slotted a simple conversion for a 6-0 lead.

But as has been so often the case in 2017, co-captain Wayde Egan sniffed out an opportunity close to the line to bring his side level in the 17th minute, following Dean Blore’s conversion to make it 6-all.

The Eels had their own strike-weapon thank in Greg Lelesiuao who blew the Panthers defence wide open to reclaim the lead at 10-6 midway through the half.

A flying mark from Panthers winger Daine Laurie almost drew them level moments later after leaping above his opposite man but his attempted grounding was fumbled.

HALF-TIME: Parramatta Eels 10 – 6 Penrith Panthers

An up-tempo start following the break from the hosts led to their third try in the 49th minute when Sione Fonua put the finishing touches to a sweeping move on the left edge. Brown’s sideline conversion edged the Eels further in front at 16-6.

Their margin should’ve been greater when Layoun was first to a grubber in the Panthers end-zone but his handling let him down as the opportunity went begging.

However, they wouldn’t be denied just shy of the hour mark when a 40/20 from Reed Mahoney put the Eels on the front foot. Denzal Tonise went over from the resulting set, before Brown’s conversion made the score 22-6.

Layoun stretched the lead further with his second of the game after a tap on from Brown found his fullback wide open in the 64th minute. Brown couldn’t convert as the score remained 26-6.

Egan came from the field with a head injury and Brown added a late penalty goal as the curtains came down on the Panthers’ season, however coach David Tangata-Toa can be proud of their efforts as they defied the odds to make it this deep in the year.

FULL-TIME: Parramatta Eels 28 – 6 Penrith Panthers

Acknowledgement of Country

Penrith Panthers players and staff respect and honour the traditional custodians of the land and pay our respects to their elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.