PENRITH PANTHERS 38
Tries: Tyrone Peachey 2, Josh Mansour 2, James Segeyaro, Isaah Yeo, Jamie Soward
Goals: Jamie Soward 4
Field Goals: nil
PARRAMATTA EELS 12
Tries: Pauli Pauli, Corey Norman
Goals: Chris Sandow 2
Field Goals: nil
“Have you ever seen a mauling”, was Ray Warren’s comment as the full-time siren went with Penrith having played their best football of the season in mauling Parramatta 38-12 at SportingBet Stadium.
It was a perfect night for the club on so many levels. A sea of black jumpers filled the stands with the biggest season crowd of 19,141 were given plenty of reasons why they should come back, as the Panthers piled on seven tries to two in a dominant display.
Both teams faced disruptions heading into the game with Parramatta’s headline act Jarryd Hayne rested on medical grounds, and Jamal Idris was stood down from the Panthers as he faces some health issues. Tim Grant and Adam Docker also missed the game through injury. Bryce Cartwright, nephew of Titans coach John, was given his first chance to play in the top grade.
The Eels struggled from kick-off as they spilled the ball in the early exchanges. In a ten minute period they struggled to finish a set of six. Penrith made them pay with Josh Mansour placing the ball down before the dead ball line after five minutes of play to open the scoring. Parramatta’s best first half chance coming from Semi Radradra at the ten minute mark who put on the afterburners down the left wing as he beat tackle after tackle before being brought down.
Penrith’s plan was clear. Catch the Eels napping with the inside ball and for long periods of the first half the Panthers troubled their opponents. The sustained pressure was rewarded with James Segeyaro’s run from dummy half close to the line giving the Panthers a ten point advantage.
Five minutes later Matt Moylan chased a Jamie Soward kick through with the fullback getting to the ball first, before being tackled high by Hayne’s replacement Justin Hunt. A penalty conversion followed from Soward. Penrith would get their third of the evening not too long after when a clever kick over the top by Wallace was fumbled by the Eels. A gem of a pass from Elijah Taylor saw Tyrone Peachey cross for his first try in Panther colours. The home side leading 18-0 going into the break.
Parramatta needed to respond and they did to some extent in the early stages of the second half but with no result. Penrith got the vital first points with Peachey’s slicing run through the Eels right hand defense giving him a double. Isaah Yeo was too strong on the hour mark as the score hit thirty with the youngster scoring his first try in the NRL.
On a horrible night for Justin Hunt, he blundered a certain Eels try where the Panthers covering tackle did enough to make him drop the ball short of the line. Late tries to Pauli Pauli and an intercept to Corey Norman from a Brent Kite pass gave Eels fans something to cheer about.
But the night belonged to Penrith. Mansour’s double coming off a Soward kick gave Penrith it’s 20,000th point in first grade football. Soward then showed a clean pair of heals to cap off a wonderful night for the number six as the Panthers ensured they would finish no worse than third place on the table at the end of this round.
Injury concerns for both sides with Eels hooker Nathan Peats the biggest worry after a knee injury ended his night half way through the second half. Dean Whare went off the field with a corked knee for the Panthers.
A host of standouts for the Panthers with Tyrone Peachey, halves pairing Wallace and Soward, Matt Moylan and Josh Mansour dominating in victory. Penrith’s forward pack reversed the treatment they were dished out early in the season by their counterparts. For Parramatta Radradra tried hard but was well contained. Chris Sandow couldn’t get into the game at any stage. Tim Mannah was the Eels best up front.