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Young Panthers fall to Eels

The Penrith Panthers have fallen 42-24 to the Parramatta Eels in the second NSW Cup trial of the day at BlueBet Stadium.

The young Panthers struggled in the 37 degree heat, comfortably overpowered by the more experienced Eels.

It was a bad start for the Panthers, making a mistake in the opening set. The Eels took advantage, forcing a repeat set, shortly before Meni Luke crossed out wide. Dylan White converted to give the visitors a 6-0 lead.

The Panthers hit back almost immediately  as David Fale took an intercept and raced 50m to score. Luke Philp added the extras to bring the scores back to 6-all.

The Eels forced another repeat set shortly after, with Jayden Yates forcing his way over the line to push the margin back to a converted try.

A good play by Hayden Bonanno set up Fale for his second try, with Philp again converting to bring the scores level.

The Eels took the lead back less than five minutes later when Niko Apelu narrowly beat the desperate defence of Christian-Li Mai.

Another try in the shadows of half time saw the Eels take a 24-12 lead to the break.

The Eels started the second half in similar fashion to the first, scoring under the posts through Nick Lenaz.

They extended the margin to 36-12 in the 52nd minute when a shift found Chris Tupou, who dived over in the corner.

Stuart Mason barrelled his way over the line from close range for a much-needed Panthers try in the 57th minute, bringing the score back to 36-18.

Any hopes the Panthers had of mounting a miracle comeback were snuffed out shortly after when a kick ricocheted to Jock Brazel to score another try for the Eels with 13 minutes remaining.

Outnumbered in defence, Angelis Hotere-Papalii came up with a try-saving intercept, racing 60m downfield before being cut down. A few tackles later, Hotere-Papalii finished off a shift back to the left, adding a late consolation try. Todd Sapienza added the extras from out wide to bring the score back to 42-24 at full time.

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.