The Parramatta Eels Jersey Flegg side suffered a 14-18 defeat to the Penrith Panthers at Ringrose Park on Sunday 22 April in Round Seven of their competition.
Coming into the clash off a 32-30 defeat, Head Coach Dean Feeney would have had his young charges ready for the clash against their western rivals.
However a shaky start from both sides saw error after error as both teams struggled to find their rhythm in the opening 10 minutes. However both teams settled and it wasn’t long before the young Blue & Gold had camped their way down the Penrith end.
After forcing a repeat set, the Eels struck through half Jaeman Salmon who crossed in the 18th minute for a converted try.
Following the try, penalties gifted the Eels field position, and they made the most of the opportunity to cross out wide through Ethan Parry.
The Panthers struck back through Daine Laurie in the 33rd minute of the clash before both sides headed to the halftime break with the Eels leading 10-4.
Blue & Gold forwards Oregon Kaufusi and Jesse Cronin laid a strong platform for their halves to play a bit of football but it was crucial key moments in the second half that saw opportunities go begging.
Crucial errors from the Eels coming out of their own end led to a double to Panthers winger Justin Jones in the 52nd and 57th minute of the clash that saw the Panthers take a 14-10 lead on the scoreboard.
Interchange forwards Dylan Clifford, who was returning from injury, and Stefano Utoikamanu, who made his Jersey Flegg debut, tried their best with impact off the bench but the errors and low percentage plays down the Panthers end of the field proved costly.
A second try to Panthers fullback Daine Laurie in the 66th minute of the clash put the away side’s lead to beyond a converted try.
The Blue & Gold rallied and fought back hard, crossing for a try through Nick Okladnikov in the 74th minute of the clash.
Despite controlling the ball and having the possession stats in their favour, key moments in the game swung the way of the Panthers and the away side held on for a 18-14 victory over the Eels.
Parramatta Eels 14 (Tries: Jaeman Salmon, Ethan Parry, Nick Okladnikov; Goals: Dylan Brown (1))
Penrith Panthers 18 (Tries: Daine Laurie (2), Justin Jones (2); Goals: Tobias Westcott (1))