The Penrith Panthers have continued their push towards a semi-final berth with a thoroughly entertaining 38-34 victory at a near-capacity CUA Stadium this afternoon. Both sides traded tries, with the 13-try romp giving both sets of fans plenty to cheer about in the sunshine.
Most fans had barely settled into their seats before Tim Grant registered the first try of the afternoon after just three minutes. It was a sign of things to come. The ensuing 13 minutes of the match was relatively sedate in the general scheme of things, with no points being scored in this time. A few penalties and errors punctuated the match, before Joel Reddy opened the Eels account, latching onto some superb by-play from five-eighth Daniel Mortimer who raced through the middle of the Penrith luck. Reddy juggled the ball, before getting it under control and scoring under the posts. From the kick-off, the Eels went back-to-back with Mortimer scoring his own try, picking up a perfect pass off Todd Lowrie as he went to ground. Michael Jennings then scored the first try of his hat-trick in the leadup to halftime, scoring his second as the halftime siren sounded. In between these tries, the Eels Nathan Hindmarsh scored from some rather sloppy defending from the Panthers, although that was the ingredient in today's encounter. The sides went to the break with the Panthers leading 22-18.
The second half was very much like the first, with six tries coming in this period. Jarryd Hayne drew the Eels level again in the 47th minute before both sides traded tries. Jennings scored the third try of his hat-trick in the 61st minute, looming up in support as Wade Graham drew fullback Jarryd Hayne. The points-scoring spree continued, until the Panthers, through winger Junior Tia-Kalifi sealed the deal with his 76th minute try appearing to give the Panthers the two competition points. But the drama was no finished there. The Eels regained the ball courtesy of a short-kick off landing into Hayne's arms and with the clock winding down, Fuifui Moimoi felt he was a playmaker, but his pass went into touch, with still plenty of tackles remaining.
Next week, the Eels, without Jarryd Hayne, travel north to take on the Titans at Skilled Park, while the Panthers have a short turnaround before their Friday night clash with the out-of-sorts Rabbitohs, although centre Michael Jennings will more than likely be named in the Blues side tomorrow night.
Match Details Penrith Panthers 38 def Parramatta Eels 34 Round 17 - Sunday July 5th, 2009 03:00pm Venue: CUA Stadium, Penrith Referee: Jason Robinson & Gerard Sutton Sideline Officials: Russell Turner & Adam Devcich Video Referee: Bill Harrigan Crowd: 16,845 Halftime: Panthers 22 Eels 18
Penrith Panthers 38
Tries: Tim Grant, Michael Jennings (3), Joseph Paulo, Nathan Smith, Junior Tia-Kilifi
Goals: Luke Walsh (5/7)
Parramatta Eels 34
Tries: Joel Reddy, Daniel Mortimer (2), Nathan Hindmarsh, Jarryd Hayne, Luke Burt
Goals: Luke Burt (5/6)
LeagueUnlimited.com Live Commentary Talk about the game as it happens - Panthers v Eels forum discussion - click here!
Welcome to CUA Stadium for this afternoon's Round 17 encounter between the Panthers and the Eels. The Panthers will be as per program 1-17, while the Eels have suffered a few changes. Krisnan Inu is out and will be replaced by Ben Smith, while Joe Galuvao and Fuifui Moimoi go back to the bench with Tim Mannah and Broderick Wright into the run-on side. Kick off is expected a few minutes after 3.00pm. Stay tuned.
PANTHERS: 1. Jarrod Sammut 2. Brad Tighe 3. Michael Jennings 4. Gavin Cooper 5. Junior Tia-Kilifi 6. Wade Graham 7. Luke Walsh 8. Tim Grant 9. Paul Aiton 10. Frank Puletua 11. Trent Waterhouse (c) 12. Frank Pritchard 13. Nathan Smith Interchange: 14. Joseph Paulo 15. Matthew Bell 16. Joel Romelo 17. Maurice Blair EELS: 1. Jarryd Hayne 2. Luke Burt 3. Joel Reddy 21. Ben Smith 5. Eric Grothe 6. Daniel Mortimer 7. Jeff Robson 8. Nathan Cayless (c) 9. Matthew Keating 20. Tim Mannah 11. Nathan Hindmarsh 13. Todd Lowrie 19. Broderick Wright Interchange: 10. Fuifui Moimoi 12. Joe Galuvao 14. Kevin Kingston 17. Jeremy Latimore
1 min: And we're underway! The Eels will be defending the southern end of CUA Stadium. Luke Walsh and the Panthers will kick off and the Eels will have first use of the ball.
2 min: Ben Smith caught offside. Penalty Panthers
3 min: TRY Penrith Panthers Fabulous start for the Panthers! Tim Grant crashes over from close range. Very ordinary goal line defence by the Eels to start the game. Conversion attempt by Luke Walsh successful. Penrith Panthers 6-0
7 min: Enterprising start by the Panthers, an early try and some good go-forward. The Eels look a little flat at the moment.
9 min: Wade Graham knocks on, letting the Eels off the hook. The Panthers have had all the ball, but the Eels hang on for now.
11 min: Both sides sorting each other out after the early try to the Panthers. Both sides completing their sets and getting to good kicks. Penalty Panthers.
12 min: Penalty Eels. Pritchard gives away the penalty when in possession, after passing the ball once the referee had called held. The Eels survive again.
14 min: Enterprising last-tackle play by the Eels comes to nothing. They kept the ball alive, but the final pass went into touch. Change over.
16 min: TRY Parramatta Eels Joel Reddy scores for the Eels! Daniel Mortimer raced through the middle of the ruck with some blinding pace, before delivering the pass to Reddy who dived over alongside the posts. Conversion attempt by Luke Burt successful. 6 all
17 min: 40-20 to the Eels, kicked by hooker Matt Keating. The Eels will be looking to score back-to-back tries here.
25 min: Daniel Mortimer grubber in behind the Panthers line. Burt tried to bat the ball back to Smith, but was unsuccessful. Scrum Panthers.
26 min: TRY Penrith Panthers Michael Jennings first with some fancy footwork, then sprints away to dive over in the corner. This is a classic contest. Conversion attempt by Luke Walsh successful. 12 all
29 min: Penalty Eels. Galuvao perhaps lucky to get the penalty. Eels on the attack now.
30 min: TRY Parramatta Eels Nathan Hindmarsh goes through some sloppy defence by the Panthers. Pritchard and Aiton were a bit slow in the defensive line. The ebb and flow of this contest continues. Conversion attempt by Luke Burt successful. Parramatta Eels 18-12
34 min: TRY Penrith Panthers Paulo scores out wide for the Panthers. Great lead-up play although Maurice Blair appeared to make the try a lot harder than it should have been before the play went to the other side of the ground. Conversion attempt by Luke Walsh unsuccessful. Parramatta Eels 18-16
37 min: VIDEO REFEREE - Possible Penrith try
38 min: TRY Penrith Panthers Jennings scores his second try of the afternoon. The kick went through, Hayne had an airswing before Jennings won the race to the ball. Conversion attempt by Luke Walsh successful. Penrith Panthers 22-18
HALFTIME Halftime here at CUA Stadium. Plenty of attacking football by both sides and if the first half is any indication, there will be plenty more points in the second half. The Panthers started the match well, scoring after just a few minutes, before the Eels hit straight back. Both sides have traded tries and the fun hasn't stopped just yet.
40 min: The second half is underway. Luke Burt re-starts what could be a very exciting second stanza.
42 min: Penalty Eels. Blair concedes the penalty for a flop.
42 min: Latimore knocks on with the Eels on the attack. Penrith to feed the scrum and work the ball away from their own end.
43 min: Penalty Panthers. Markers not square and Penrith will now go on the attack.
47 min: TRY Parramatta Eels Jarryd Hayne draws the scores level once again. He scores untouched out wide. A positive start to the second half by the Eels. Conversion attempt by Luke Burt unsuccessful. 22 all
50 min: TRY Penrith Panthers The points avalanche continues here at CUA. Smith plunges over after perhaps benefitting from a possible knock on in the previous set. Conversion attempt by Luke Walsh unsuccessful. Penrith Panthers 26-22
55 min: Blair's pass out the back to Sammut is knocked on as the Panthers started to throw the ball around inside their own half. Another chance for the Eels to add to their score.
57 min: The Eels, like the Panthers attempt to score off the ensuing set, but throw the ball over the sideline. Penrith scrum feed.
58 min: TRY Parramatta Eels Burt scores under the posts after Hayne was sniffing around the middle of the ruck, delivering the final pass. The Eels are back in front. Conversion attempt by Luke Burt successful. Parramatta Eels 28-26
61 min: TRY Penrith Panthers Wade Graham bursts through some more terrible defending, drawing fullback Hayne and sending Jennings over for the third try of his hat-trick. Conversion attempt by Luke Walsh successful. Penrith Panthers 32-28
62 min: Penalty Penrith. Lifting tackle against the Eels. The Panthers will be looking to kick clear here.
71 min: TRY Parramatta Eels Mortimer scores alongside the posts for his second try of the afternoon. Both teams will be hitting the tackling bags during the week. Conversion attempt by Luke Burt successful. Parramatta Eels 34-32
75 min: We enter the final five minutes of this see-sawing classic contest with it still in the balance.
76 min: VIDEO REFEREE - Possible Penrith try to Tia-Kalifi.
78 min: Short kick off by the Eels comes off and Hayne regains possession. Unfortunately, Moimoi threw the ball over the sideline and the Panthers will win the game.
79 min: Hayne takes Tia-Kalifi on down the sideline before being thrown into touch. Penrith will win the game.
FULLTIME: Penrith Panthers win this encounter 38-34 in a highly entertaining contest.