Young Eels go down to Panthers in Penrith

The Parramatta Eels have gone down by ten points to the Penrith Panthers this afternoon, suffering a 18-8 defeat in their pre-season trial at Panthers Stadium.

The young Eels made a late change to their line up just before kick off, with young Kyle Schneider called into the spine seeing a reshuffle to their halves pairing.

The young hooker was vocal on the field and had to get the players focused on the job at hand after the Panthers crossed in the opening four minutes.

Panthers centre Stephen Crichton finished off a 60m length try after Terrell May broke through the defence to find the speedster in support and the first points on the board.

Schneider took control from dummy half and after kicking a 40/20 to put the Eels on the front foot, a simple backline movement through the hands found left winger William Kei crossing out wide to level the scores.

A back and forth 15 mins ended out the first half with both sides unable to build pressure and hold onto possession for long periods of time.

The Panthers raced out of the blocks in the second half with fullback Daine Laurie streaking away to score in the corner before outside back Charlie Staines was the recipient of an offload at the line to score in the opposite corner giving the home side a 12-8 lead.

The Blue & Gold struck back in the 50th minute when bulldozing centre Tuimavave Afualo found his way over the line out wide, finishing off a string off passes out wide, with another conversion waved away.

A long range try to half Adam Fearnley, set up by Panthers prop Spencer Leniu, saw the Panthers maintain a ten point lead heading into the final 15 mins of play.

The Eels tried new combinations and tested their depth with a handful of interchanges made in the second half, and they looked to have set themselves up for a grandstand finish when Kei appeared to have claimed his second with three minutes to go on the clock but the referee ruling a knock on over the line as the winger attempted to plant the rolling grubber.

The Panthers attacked the Eels line in the final few minutes before the full time siren rang and the home side claiming a 18-8 victory.

Parramatta Eels 8 (Tries: William Kei, Tuimavave Afualo)

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Penrith Panthers 18