Eels fall short against Panthers
The Parramatta Eels have gone down 12-6 to the Penrith Panthers in their round five clash at ANZ Stadium on Sunday afternoon.
The Eels came into the match needing a win after losing their first four games and coach, Brad Arthur looked to Tony Williams to provide an early spark with the big man taking the place of Tepai Moeroa in the starting side.
Penrith drew first blood through a penalty goal in the 4th minute after back-to-back penalties from the Eels marched them down field.
Parramatta though were immediately on the attack following the restart with Panthers fullback Dylan Edwards knocking-on the kick-off. A minute later and Penrith forward Trent Merrin found himself in the sin bin for a professional foul.
The Eels set up camp on the Penrith line but were unable to post any points and the pressure valve was released for the Panthers when Kirisome Auva’a tackled Waqa Blake in the air off a Mitchell Moses kick.
Nathan Brown led by example with the firebrand lock laying out Panthers backrower Villiame Kikau and jolting the ball free in the process.
Trent Merrin returned in the 16th minute before Eels co-captain Tim Mannah was himself sent to the bin for the same offence as the Panthers bookend.
The Eels though were only able to defend with 12 men for two minutes with Josh Mansour profiting from a James Maloney cross-field kick and sliding over untouched. Maloney added the extras and Penrith led 8-0 after 21 minutes.
Parramatta looked to get themselves back into the contest in the 27th minute when a left-side raid opened up the Penrith defence but winger Josh Hoffman was unable to grasp the final pass with the line wide open.
The Blue and Gold threatened again five minutes later, this time Mitchell Moses shot down the short side on the last tackle with Michael Jennings getting bundled into touch just short of the line.
Three minutes later and with Penrith pressuring the Eels line, James Maloney looked to extend their lead, only for him to run behind teammate James Tamou and be penalised for obstruction.
With the Panthers 35 metres out from the Eels line they received a penalty right on half time and James Maloney made no mistake, sending the two sides to the sheds with Penrith holding a 10-0 lead.
Two minutes into the second half and the Eels were on the attack after Beau Scott charged down a James Maloney kick and Parramatta earnt a penalty.
In the 44th minute the Eels were back into the match when Moses kicked in behind the Penrith defence and George Jennings swooped on the loose ball.
The Eels halfback converted the try and Penrith led 10-6.
Parramatta sliced through courtesy of a Moses pass to Michael Jennings who kicked ahead with Maloney able to overhaul the kick and punch it dead.
In the 64th minute the Eels continued pressuring the Penrith line after Corey Norman rifled a kick from inside his own 40 metre line and Dylan Edwards knocked the ball into touch while trying to prevent the 40/20.
The Eels were unable to cash in with their continued pressure on the Penrith line with Josh Hoffman getting bundled into touch short of the line in the 73rd minute.
Penrith sealed the match in the 78th minute through a James Maloney penalty goal.
The Panthers defeating the Eels 12-6.
The Blue and Gold will head down to Canberra next week to take on Ricky Stuart’s Raiders.
Parramatta Eels 6 (Tries: George Jennings; Goals: Mitch Moses)
Penrtih Panthers 12 (Tries: Josh Mansour, Goals: James Maloney 4/4)