The Parramatta Eels NYC has fallen short against the Penrith Panthers NYC 36-32 in their Round eight clash at ANZ Stadium.
Penrith started out strong with Carl Winterstein barging over from close range in the second minute and Dean Blore converting from in-front to give the Panthers a 6-0 lead.
Five minutes later and the Panthers were in again, this time Sam Martin-Savage positioned Daniel Brown to send him down the left touch line and score near the uprights. Blore converted again to see Penrith lead 12-0.
With 12 minutes gone Dane Aukafolau muscled his way into the in-goal only to lose the ball over the line.
In the 15th minute Brown crossed for his second after Martin-Savage took advantage of a simple two-on-one situation down the left edge. Blore’s successful sideline conversion took the Panthers to an 18-0 lead.
After 20 minutes the Eels got on the board through Dane Aukafolau who took a nicely weighted short-ball from Kamren Cryer and crossed untouched. Cryer’s successful kick took the score to 18-6 in favour of the Panthers.
The Eels were in again three minutes later after Dean Matterson went to his left and found Cryer on his inside who hit Stone heading back in-field. The hard-running lock went through the middle of the Penrith defenders and steps the fullback to score next to the posts. Cryer converted and the Eels moved to within six points.
In the 27th minute Brown capped his hattrick when Penrith went through their hands down the left-edge to send him over untouched. Blore landed the conversion from the sideline and Penrith lead 24-12.
The Panthers went in again in the 31st minute when Reed Mahoney’s clearing kick ricocheted off a defender and Martin-Savage scooped the loose ball up to score under the posts.
Parramatta then dragged back a try through Greg Leleisiuao who took a Dean Matterson cut-out ball and stood his defender up to score in the right corner. Cryer’s missed conversion saw the score at 30-16 with four minutes remaining in the half.
The Eels then crossed in the final minute before half time when Reed Mahoney fired a short-ball to a barn-storming Sean Kippie who couldn’t be stopped close to the line. Cryer’s conversion from in-front saw the Eels go into half-time trailing 30-22.
Parramatta were first to score after half-time with Anthony Layoun the beneficiary of slick hands to allow him to slice through on the left edge 15 metres from the Penrith line in the 44th minute. Cryer’s conversion brought the Eels right back into the contest, trailing 30-28 to the Panthers.
The Panthers then broke away again in the 57th minute with Brian Too taking a floating ball from Blore and crossing in the right corner. The five-eighth converted from the sideline and Penrith were ahead 36-28.
Parramatta responded in the 64th minute with John Fonua taking an offload from Aukafolau on the left edge and scoring untouched. Cryer’s conversion struck the upright and the Eels trailed 36-32.
The Eels however were unable to breach the Penrith defence once more to steal the match, going down in the NYC battle of the west 36-32.
Parramatta Eels 32: (Tries: Aukafolau, Keppie, Stone, Layoun, Leleisiuao, Fonua. Goals: Cryer 4/6)
Penrith Panthers 36: (Tries: Brown 3, Winterstein, Martin-Savage, Too. Goals: Blore 6/6)