Photo: Grant Trouville © nrlphotos.com

Young Panthers Hold Out Eels

The Penrith Panthers have defeated the Dyldam Parramatta Eels 18-14 in a tightly-fought NYC match up on Friday night. 

The Blue and Gold surprised the home side right from the kick off, running in two tries in just the first eight minutes. Joey Lussick struck first for the Eels, rolling on from a Panthers error and a Parramatta scrum feed, the dummy half darted over close to the posts. 

After converting the first four-pointer of the night, centre Nathan Davis added his own, spotting a gap and nudging past two defenders to ground the football.

But the Panthers forwards proved hard to contain, and from a strong early set, Dave Cowhan charged over the line to open the Panthers’ account. 

Winger Christian Crighton finished off a left-hand side play to edge the Panthers in front, and the two sides hit a stalemate lasting 20 minutes into halftime and over the break. For more than 40 minutes, neither team could break the points drought, despite Sione Katua’s sin-binning giving the Eels ten minutes of 13-on-12 rugby league.

At last, Penrith’s Waqa Blake collected an attacking bomb and stepped through a tackle on the right edge to open up a 16-10 lead, with Corey Harawira adding the extras for an eight point lead.

The Eels answered back late courtesy of Tepai Tepu-Smith but, despite pulling off two comeback wins in their last two matches, couldn’t run down the Panthers side and notch up a third miracle victory.

Penrith Panthers - 18 (Cowhan, Crighton, Blake. Harawira: 3/3)

Dyldam Parramatta Eels - 14 (Lussick, Davis, Tepu-Smith. Davis: 1/3)