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Panthers out of NSW Cup finals contention

The Penrith Panthers Knock-On Effect NSW Cup premiership defence is over, giving up a 24-4 lead to fall to Parramatta Eels 34-24 at BlueBet Stadium

The Panthers conceded five converted tries in the final 20 minutes to plummet out of finals contention, leaving them sixth on the ladder at best cone the end of the regular season.

The Panthers got the match off to the perfect start, scoring in the fifth minute when they shifted to Sam Lane in the right-hand corner.

They extended their lead in the 12th minute when Isaiah Iongi ran onto an offload to score. Jack Cole landed the conversion from much simpler range, extending the Panthers lead to 10-0.

The Panthers matched the attacking efforts with strong defence, with Lane pulling off a big hit on Arthur Miller-Stephen, while a Harrison Hassett bellringer forced an error from Haze Dunster in dangerous field position.

Daeon Amituanai scored their third try in the 24th minute, strolling over untouched following a shift to the left.

An error coming out of trouble by the Panthers allowed the Eels an opportunity, with a shift from the scrum setting up Zac Cini in the left-hand corner. Jordan Rankin’s conversion attempt struck the upright, leaving the score at 14-4.

A lifting tackle in the final moments of the half saw Dan Keir sin binned, leaving the Eels with 12 men for the first ten minutes of the second half. The Panthers maintained the 14-4 advantage to the sheds.

The Panthers were first to score in the second half when Jaeman Salmon’s pass took a deflection off an Eel and landed safely in the arms of Mavrik Geyer, who flicked it back to Amituanai for his second try. Cole landed the conversion from the sideline, extending the lead to 20-4.

An out on the full kick off put the Panthers immediately back on the attack, with a shift to the right seeing Cole cross in the right-hand corner.

The Eels hit back in the 59th minute, crossing out wide through Lachlan Blackburn. Rankin converted, bringing the scoreline back to 24-10.

A fortuitous penalty put the Eels back on the attack again shortly after, where a grubber bounced up kindly for Brendan Hands to score near the posts, with Rankin converting to reduce the Panthers lead to 24-16.

The Eels continued to come back, making a break down the right hand edge, ending with a try to Arthur Miller-Stephen, with Rankin converting to cut the margin to two.

Another penalty put the Eels back on the attack once again in the 72nd minute, with Cini completing his double in the left-hand corner. Rankin again converted from the sideline, putting the Eels ahead 28-24.

Makahesi Makatoa put a further nail in the coffin of the Panthers season, crashing over under the posts, with Rankin converting to push the final score to 34-24.

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.