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Last Time We Met: Eels v Panthers, Round 11, 2019

As the Blue & Gold prepare to take on the Penrith Panthers at Bankwest Stadium tonight, we take a look back at these two sides last met.

The clash occurred in Round 11 of 2019, over a year ago, where the Panthers snapped a six game losing streak to came away with a 16-10 victory over the Eels, with half Nathan Cleary guiding his side to victory.

Re-watch all the key moments from that clash and read how it unfolded below.

Match Highlights: Eels v Panthers, Round 11

Parramatta Eels v Penrith Panthers - Round 11, 2019 Match Report

Penrith halfback Nathan Cleary scored the only try of the second-half and guided his team around for the remaining 19 minutes of the match as they ended a six-game losing streak.

Former representative stars Reagan Campbell-Gillard and Josh Mansour responded to their recalls after a week in the Canterbury Cup with strong performances.

Campbell-Gillard carried the ball 135 metres, while Mansor ran 192 metres in possession. Fellow winger Brian To'o finished with a game high 212 running metres in just his second NRL appearance.

Penrith supporters would have been fearing they were in for another long and sorry night after five-eighth Jerome Luai knocked on in the play-the-ball after just their second tackle in possession at the start. Eels winger Maika Sivo swooped on a Will Smith grubber to score in the third minute.

However, Sivo's sixth try in five matches was the only time that Parramatta genuinely looked like scoring as errors and penalties continually disrupted the flow of the game.

Penrith forward Frank Winterstein was placed on report for dangerous contact on Mitchell Moses after he had kicked the ball and Luai may also have a judiciary charge to answer after a coat-hanger style tackle on the Parramatta halfback.

Eels centre Blake Ferguson was also put in report for a trip on his Panthers opposite Waqa Blake.

Perhaps the nine first-half errors and 12 penalties was due to the conditions in the first night game at Bankwest Stadium, or maybe it was the poor form of the two teams.

With the Panthers not having won since their round 4 golden point defeat of Wests Tigers and the Eels having lost their last two matches, both teams showed a lack of confidence by opting to kick for goal whenever they received a penalty within range.

Former NSW Origin prop Tim Grant made up for a 15th minute error, when he dropped the ball five metres from the Parramatta try line, by barging over for Penrith's only first half try five minutes later. 

Cleary then levelled the scores at 8-8 with a 28th minute penalty goal after Robert Jennings fumbled a Luai bomb and Peni Terepo conceded a play-the-ball penalty.

Moses regained the lead for Parramatta four minutes later but his penalty goal typified the game as the Eels playmaker slipped over as he struck the ball. Miraculously, it just cleared the cross-bar.

With the entertainment on the field not living up to expectations for Parramatta fans in the 16,228 crowd, the biggest cheer of the night came when a touch judge collided with Penrith trainer Craig Caterick as he was running on to treat To'o.

Ahead 10-8 at half-time, the Eels failed to score a point in the second half and finished the game with 14 errors to give themselves little chance as they completed 11 of 20 second half sets of possession.

Cleary again levelled the scores with a 48th-minute penalty goal and he finally put the Panthers ahead for the first time in the match when he dived to catch a kick from Luai that deflected off Ferguson's legs to score in the 61st minute.

Acknowledgement of Country

Parramatta Eels respect and honour the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.

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