Young Eels mauled by Panthers

Young Eels mauled by Panthers

The Dyldam Parramatta Eels NYC side has been defeated 42-12 by the Panthers in their final trial match of the 2016 pre-season.

The Blue and Gold were well-contained by the home side early. With the two teams trading sets early. the Panthers were the first to post points, as five-eighth Jerome Luai grubbered to the right corner for second-rower Reed Izzard to score in the eighth minute. 

After holding the Panthers out momentarily, the young Eels built up a mountain of possession in the opposition’s end, thanks to errors from the Panthers and a swift on-on-one strip from Jack Morris.

But the Eels were denied multiple times on the edges, and under the posts as fullback Mason Cerrito fell just centimetres short of the line. 

For the home side, centre Robert Jennings proved too powerful in the 30th minute as he shrugged off the Eels goal line defence to plant the football on the right edge.

Flying Panthers winger Jack Nelson slipped through the right-side defence to add another four points in the 35th minute, and the Panthers added salt to the wound with a try just before the halftime buzzer courtesy of a Nathan Cleary grubber to his five-eighth Luai. 

Early in the second half Denzal Tonise crashed over the line but couldn’t ground the ball, while Penrith’s Ratu Tuisese came off the interchange bench to barrel over in the 40th minute. 

The Eels’ drought-breaker came at last as Michael Doolan popped a short pass to Tom Field to crash over the line, and Doolan added the extra two points. 

Kaide Ellis collected a kick from Liam Martin in the 59th minute to extend the Panthers lead to 32-6, while the Eels’ horror afternoon continued.

Tom Field left the field before full time after taking a knock to the face in the 57th minute, with Tom Amone also heading to the sideline for treatment. 

Dean Matterson made his mark as a new addition to the Under 20s squad, flying over for a try in the 67th minute, but the Panthers put the game well and truly out of reach with two tries in the dying minutes from a Soni Luke grubber, and a line break from Ratu Tuisese for his second try of the day.

Parramatta Eels – 12 (T. Field, Matterson. Doolan: 2/2)

Penrith Panthers – 42 (Izzard, Jennings, Nelson, Luai, Tuisese 2, Ellis, Martin. Cleary: 4/6, Edwards: 1/2)

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