Brendan Wood reviews the Parramatta Eels dominant win over the Penrith Panthers on Friday night.
Parramatta Eels 34
Tries: Isaiah Papali’i (11), Maika Sivo (15, 78), Reed Mahoney (19, 27), Clint Gutherson (35)
Goals: Mitchell Moses (13, 16, 20, 29, 37)
Penrith Panthers 10
Tries: Sean O’Sullivan (7), Liam Martin (63)
Goals: Sean O’Sullivan
MATCH REPORTEmbed from Getty Images
As Parramatta hosted a Penrith side missing Jarome Luai and Stephen Crichton, it was the Panthers who drew first blood. The man to replace Luai, Sean O’Sullivan, sliced through a hole out wide to score the opening try of the game.
After conceding early points, the Eels bounced back less than five minutes later. Isaiah Papali’i regathered a Dylan Brown bomb and crashed over for a try.
In the following set, the Eels kept their foot on the accelerator when Mitchell Moses nailed a 40/20. With a full set attacking the Panthers line, Maika Sivo was the beneficiary as he crossed for a try in the corner.
In the 18th minute, Nathan Cleary was sent off after a dangerous spear tackle on Dylan Brown. After losing their halfback, the Panthers couldn’t keep out a rampant Eels attack as Reed Mahoney scored their third try.
Forced to defend with 12 men, the Panthers defence stretched too thin, which allowed Reed Mahoney to stroll through for his second try in 10 minutes. Another try to Clint Gutherson saw the score blow out to 30-4 in favour of the Eels at the break.
The Eels began the second half on fire, as Mitchell Moses produced his second 40/20 of the night. This time Maika Sivo was tackled over the sideline as he dived for the corner post.
Despite being down a man, the Panthers won back the momentum and kept the Eels pinned in their own half. Eventually the pressure paid off, when Liam Martin poured through a hole to score off a short ball from Moses Leota.
In the final few minutes, Maika Sivo crossed for his second try in style, sealing a 34-10 victory over the league leading Panthers. The win boosts the Eels into equal 3rd on the ladder.
PLAYER OF THE YEAR POINTSEmbed from Getty Images
3 pts – Mitchell Moses (Parramatta Eels), 2 pts – Reed Mahoney (Parramatta Eels), 1 pt – Isaiah Papali’i (Parramatta Eels)
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