The Dyldam Parramatta Eels have been defeated 28-24 on Saturday by the Penrith Panthers in their final trial match of 2015 at Pepper Stadium.

In greasy conditions, both Under 20s outfits took time to find their feet, struggling with ball control and unable to capitalise on early opportunities.

With heavy involvement from lock Jeff Markus and five-eighth Dylan Izzard - including a sharp line break - the Blue and Gold earned an easy passage upfield with a grubber, forcing the Panthers to bat the football dead.

Taking the tap, the Eels found easy metres, and a Bevan French grubber to the left corner gave winger Abbas Miski the chance to ground the ball for his first four-pointer of the game.

20 minutes into the half, the Panthers answered back with a long ball to Brent Naden to open Penrith’s account, and fullback Tyrone May converted the try to take the lead for the home side.

Capitalising on a Panthers knock into touch, the Eels took the football from the 10-metre scrum feed to work through the middle, spread the ball left into the hands of Miski for his second try of the match. 

Abbas tried for a third with a solid run up the left edge, but was pulled over the sideline, and it was the Panthers who struck next via Kade Ellis. 

The locals struck again as Jack Nelson cleaned up a grubber for a four-pointer, but with second-rower Brandon Raeli was hard to contain in attack, and with the Eels continuing to make metres through their pack, the Blue and Gold had one last opportunity before the break.

With sustained pressure in the middle-third, Parramatta shifted the ball right for winger Aaron Pene to take the score to 16-12 right on the buzzer.

Rolling into a more settled second half, the Eels were denied a quick try for a forward pass, while the Panthers popped a short offload to Thompson Tuigamala to score next to the posts and and extend Penrith’s lead.

With 18 minutes left on the clock, Eels halfback Dylan Izzard ran a sweet line through the defence to score beside the upright. With Davis slotting his first conversion of the afternoon, the Blue and Gold narrowed the gap to 22-18. 

And with a swift line break from fullback Nathan Davis, with five-eighth Bevan French in support to collet the offload and score under the posts, the Eels hit the lead for the first time.

Answering back, Panthers prop Oliver Clark barged over from 2 metres out with 5 minutes on the clocl close out the contest at 28-24.

Dyldam Parramatta Eels - 24 (Miski 2, Pene, Izzard, French. Davis 2/5)

Penrith Panthers - 28 (Naden, Ellis, Nelson, Tuigamala, Clark: May 1/1. Luke 4/4)

 

See both team lists from the under 20s trial:

Dyldam Parramatta Eels:

1. Nathan Davis
2. Abbas Miski / Jermaine Mati-Leifi *
3. Reimis Smith / Tui Oloapu *
4. Tyrell Fuimaono / Atini Gafa *
5. Aaron Pene
6. Bevan French
7. Dylan Izzard
8. Alex Twal
9. Joey Lussick
10. Tom Amone
11. Tepai Tepu-Smith
12. Jordan Muna
13. Jeff Markus

Interchange

14. Brandon Raeli
15. Paula Kaufusi
16. Alec Bush
17. Jonathan Mose
18. Craig Field
19. Michael Doolan
20. Shane Hunt
21. Jason Vidal
22. James Gammidge
23. Suliasi Suli

* Using two sets of jerseys

 

Penrith Panthers:

1. Tyrone May
2. Maliko Filino
3. Brent Naden
4. Jack Nelson
5. Fuimanau Elise
6. Logan Geyer
7. Soni Luke
8. Moses Leota
9. Sione Katoa
10. Oliver Clark
11. Elkander Fairouz
12. Dylan Fuad
13. Paea Pua

Interchange

14. Josh Grant
15. Soni Hala
16. Thompson Tuigamala
17. Dylan Edwards
18. Stanton Albert
19. Kade Ellis
21. Shane Kiel