The Jersey Flegg Panthers have gone down 18-10 against the Parramatta Eels as they failed to put the finishing touches on a number of opportunities in a tense affair.
The loss extends the Panthers mixed start to the Jersey Flegg season, as they now sit in the middle of ladder having recorded one win, two losses, and a bye.
The Eels opened the scoring in the 8th minute when they shifted the ball and found an overlap on the right-hand side of the field, with Matthew Komolafe diving over to score. Conversion unsuccessful, 4-0.
The Panthers would hit back in the 15th minute when Ryley Smith slipped a beautifully weighted grubber past the defence, Angelis Hotere-Papalii pouncing on the ball to level the scores. Conversion unsuccessful, 4-4.
In the 23rd minute, the Eels would reclaim the lead, a nice chip over the top collected by Lindsay Munro. High contact meant it was a penalty try, giving the home team an 8-point lead after both kicks at goal were successful.
The remainder of the first half was a hard-fought tussle, but neither team were able to put the finishing touches on the opportunities they were presented.
After some nice play by the backs to test the defensive line, prop Sunita Lotoaniu took matters into his own hands, coming off the back fence to steam onto the ball and muscle his way over underneath the posts. Conversion by Ryley Smith successful, 12-10.
The Eels would return serve in the 41st minute, winger Matthew Komolafe broke away down the right-hand touchline before turning it inside for Turoa Williams. Conversion successful, 18-10.
Fullback Liam Ison showed great determination to chase down a flying Lene Feterika, executing a perfect cover tackle to stop a certain try.
The Panthers would have a few opportunities to score but the Eels were too resilient in defence, turning up time and time again to deny Penrith’s advances.
In the end, the score remained unchanged for the last half an hour, with the Parramatta Eels holding on to win 18-10 at home.