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Eels spoil Panthers' party in big derby win

The Eels upset a sold-out Penrith home crowd in a dominant 32-18 derby win over the Panthers on Thursday night.

Parramatta came flying out of the blocks and blew Penrith off the park, as Maika Sivo scored four tries and Clint Gutherson scored two in a spectacular win.

The scintillating performance closes out the Eels’ regular season in style, although their finals prospects remain unclear heading into next week’s bye.

The result was soured by a late leg injury to Clint Gutherson, who was unable to complete the match.

Daejarn Asi and Dylan Brown put on their strongest showing as a halves pairing, combining for three try assists and comfortably guiding the Eels around the park.

The Eels silenced the home supporters early with the opening try against the run of play.

From a scum, Dylan Brown drifted wide and drew in several defenders before flicking a sensational offload back inside for Maika Sivo to burrow over.

Brown drifts, Sivo scores!

Clint Gutherson converted from the sideline to give the Eels a fast 6-0 lead.

The Panthers hit back quickly, as they went on the attack and found space on the outside for Tyrone Peachey to score.

The try breathed life into Penrith, but Parramatta kept their cool and scored two quickfire tries as Maika Sivo completed a sensational first-half hat-trick.

The Eels tore through Penrith’s defence with scintillating second-phase play, with superb passes by Reagan Campbell-Gillard and Clint Gutherson sending Sivo over for his second.

Sivo's scintillating second

Sivo was hit high in the act of scoring by Panthers debutant Jesse McLean, and an eight-point try was awarded.

The flying Fijian scored his third just minutes later, gliding over at the end of a routine left-edge shift. Another sideline conversion by Gutherson put the Eels ahead by 14 points.

Sivo scores a first-half hat-trick!

The Panthers piled on the pressure in search of a response, but Parramatta repelled the hosts with a show of desperate goal-line defence.

Parramatta put the cherry on top of their near-perfect first half when Clint Gutherson found space on the edge and dashed 20 metres for Parramatta’s fourth try, putting the Eels ahead 22-4 at the break.

Guth goes through the Panthers

The Eels hit the ground running in the second half, scoring a fifth try inside two minutes of the restart.

Dylan Brown sent a dangerous kick across to the left edge, where Daejarn Asi rose above the pack and batted the ball down for Gutherson to score a simple second.

Spine combine for aerial try!

With the successful conversion, Parramatta took a 28-4 lead.

The match settled down in the second half, with Parramatta limiting the Panthers’ attacking opportunities.

The Panthers eventually clawed back a try, as Nathan Cleary scored from an unsuccessful Eels short dropout.

In a cruel blow, the Eels lost Gutherson as he hobbled off the field with a leg injury after going down in a try-saving collision.

It would not alter the course of the Eels’ night however, as Maika Sivo scored his fourth try late on from a scrum.

Sivo with his fourth!

The Panthers pulled back two more tries in the closing stages, but the Eels coasted to a memorable victory in an emphatic finish to their regular season campaign.

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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