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The Pirtek Parramatta Eels Holden Cup side has been defeated 44-10 by a strong Penrith Panthers under 20s team at Parramatta Stadium.

The Eels ran out strongly in the the round 18 encounter, nearing the try line in just the 6th minute of the match.

But with both teams receiving early penalties, the Panthers were the first to take advantage - in the 15th minute - through co-captain Tony Santini.

The Panthers proved to be the hungrier side, rolling on to notch up three more tries in the first half thanks to Reagan Campbell-Gilliard, Tekina Valiea and Sakeo Dibeci. Halfback Toby Evans wavered only once with the boot, and the Eels headed down the tunnel trailing 22-0.

Returning to the field, the Eels' determination to score on their home soil was shaken early, as Doug Hewitt hit a gap in defence to cross the try line.

But the Eels answered back via Zach Dockar-Clay, putting first points on the board for the blue and gold for the night. Mitchell Brassington's successful conversion brought the score back to 28-6.

Haluafu Lavaka joined his teammate on the scoreboard, charging through the Panthers defence to narrow the gap to 28-10.

But in the final 20 minutes the traffic went all the Panther's way, prop Chris Smith securing another try for the away side.

With just over 10 minutes left of the match, tensions were rising, with the Eels threatening the try line, but unable to break through the solid Penrith defence.

Thanks to Iain Riccardi and Jarred Wilson, the Panthers took their lead to 44-10 over the home side, edging closer to repeating their 2012 performance, where they finished the regular season on top of the National Youth Competition ladder.

Parramatta Eels - 10 (Dockar-Clay, Lavaka. Brasington: 1/2)

Penrith Panthers - 44 (Satini, Campbell-Gillard, Valiea, Dibici, Smith, Hewitt, Riccardi, Wilson. Goals: Evans 6/8)

Acknowledgement of Country

Parramatta Eels 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.

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