The Parramatta Eels came away with a thrilling 16-10 victory over the Penrith Panthers at Bankwest Stadium in Round Five of the NRL Telstra Premiership.
It took a flurry of tries late in the game to secure the win, but the victory sees the Blue & Gold start their season with five wins from five games.
Eels centre Waqa Blake scored the first points for the Eels in the 61st minute which sparked the Blue & Gold attack. He finished with 91m from 11 runs including one line break, one try assist, 6 tackle breaks, 18 tackles and a crucial try.
Blake also set up fullback Clint Gutherson with his own four pointer, capping off another busy night for the Eels number one. Gutherson finished with 154m from 15 runs, one line break, two tackle breaks and eight tackles to go alongside his four pointer.
Eels prop Reagan Campbell-Gillard led the side against his former Club, running for 144m from 14 runs, 4 tackle breaks and 19 tackes.
Reed Mahoney once again topped the tackle count, finishing with 50 tackles at 100% tackle efficiency.
Back rowers Shaun Lane (160m from 16 runs, 30 tackles and five tackle breaks) and Ryan Matterson (one try, 154m from 21 runs and 43 tackles) had busy nights whilst Nathan Brown returned to the side showing little rust, finishing with 158m from 18 runs, 3 tackle breaks and 23 tackles.
After two days of voting, Eels centre Waqa Blake claimed the Blue & Gold Army vote as Man of the Match with close to 50% of the votes submitted!