Panthers demolish disgraceful Eels

The "Battle of the West" turned out to be a walkover and a night to forget for the Eels as the Penrith Panthers trounced them 39-6 in front of 13,788 fans at Parramatta Stadium.

While the headline may suggest a very harsh critique of the Eels, it accurately sums up a very poor performance for the blue and golds - with the Panthers almost scoring at will in the first half. Two tries to Etu Uaisele along with four-pointers to Michael Jennings and Lachlan Coote put the Panthers up 22-0 nearing halftime and on the siren Travis Burns added a one-pointer. Leading 23-0 at oranges, the Panthers looked strong, but the Eels looked terrible.

It was a more defensively sound showing from the hosts come the second half, with only three tries conceded, the last coming on the final siren (Uaisele's third). The Eels did manage to trouble the scorers late in the piece, with Maitua scoring off some neat lead-up play which defied the trend of clumped, standing attack and complete disorganisation.

The biggest concern of the evening came out of the Penrith camp - forward Nathan Smith injuring his ankle early in the piece, and shipped straight to hospital for scans and treatment. Murmurs late in the game suggest that the Penrith club may ask questions of Stadium management given the poor surface tonight.

UPDATE:Β In the post-match press conference, Panthers coach Ivan Cleary confirmed the club will make an official complaint about the stadium surface.

Betting markets have now firmed odds for the Eels to not win a game in 2012, while Penrith have been played back into form... all in eighty minutes.

Next week it's heritage round and Parramatta will be up against it, hosting reigning premiers Manly. Down the M4 just hours earlier, the Panthers host fellow 1967 side Cronulla.

Match Details
Parramatta Eels 6 were defeated by Penrith Panthers 39
National Rugby League - Round 4 - Friday March 23, 2012 7:45pm
Venue: Parramatta Stadium
Referee: Matt Cecchin and Gavin Reynolds
Video Referee: Pat Reynolds
Touch Judges: Paul Holland and Adam Gee
Crowd: 13,788
Halftime: Parramatta Eels 23 Penrith Panthers 0 players of the match:
3 Points - Travis Burns (1 Try, 1 Field Goal)
2 Points - Etu Uaisele (3 Tries)
1 Point - Luke Walsh (5 Conversions)

Tries: Reni Maitua
Conversions: Chris Sandow (1/1)

Tries: Brad Tighe, Travis Burns, Michael Jennings, Lachlan Coote, Etu Uaisele (3)
Field Goals: Travis Burns (1/1)
Conversions: Luke Walsh (5/7) Live Commentary Join the conversation - follow LeagueUnlimited on Twitter and tweet about the match using the Official Hashtag = #NRLparpen.

You can also discuss the match with thousands of other fans in our Game Day Forums - click here. The first of two "battles in the west" tonight... this one coming to you live from Parramatta. The Eels and Panthers have both been in ordinary form so far this season and both need a win to turn around those early season fortunes.
TEAM CHANGES are in - there are none for the Parramatta Eels, who will take to the field as named on Tuesday. For Penrith, prop Tim Grant just hasn't recovered in time and is omitted. Dayne Weston will start in the front row wearing jersey 15, while Mitch Achurch takes his place on the bench in jersey 19. Hit the "Team Lists" tab above for the full team lists.
Toyota Cup has been run and won - the visiting Panthers Under 20's have come away with a 36-20 victory over the Eels in tonight's curtain raiser.
Both sides onto the park. For visual purposes, the Panthers are in their white away strip for the first time this season, while the Eels are in their hometown blue with yellow shoulder stripes.
We begin, Allgood taking the first hitup for the Eels.
1 min: PENALTY Eels. Inside the ten.
2 min: Line dropout forced by the Eels.
3 min: Penrith wrap up the Chris Sandow grubber on tackle five. Off the hook now as they work it off their own line.
4 min: Nathan Smith (PEN) down injured inside the first five minutes. His ankle is gone, plenty of trainers out there helping him and medicab now on.
10 min: Parramatta with a couple of forays into Penrith territory but poor last tackle options are cruelling their chances at opening the scoring.
12 min: Penrith with their first possession inside the Eels' 20m area now...
13 min: TRY
TRY Penrith Panthers
Scored by Etu Uaisele. Conversion attempt by Luke Walsh successful.
Opening points are Penrith's - they sustained some tepid attack from the Eels before crossing out wide themselves in their first attacking set inopposition territory. Uaisele is the tryscorer against his former club, Walsh covnerts.
Penrith Panthers 6-0
16 min: Penrith work it all the way upfield from the next set before the Eels concede a fifth-tackle penalty. Panthers attacking again.
18 min: TRY
TRY Penrith Panthers
Scored by Michael Jennings. Conversion attempt by Luke Walsh unsuccessful.
The numbers to the left off the penalty - and bang. Jennings is through. Walsh's conversion attempt hits the upright.
Penrith Panthers 10-0
22 min: TRY
TRY Penrith Panthers
Scored by Etu Uaisele. Conversion attempt by Luke Walsh successful.
The Eels look to have the Panthers' fifth tackle grubber wrapped up but a spilled ball on the wing sees Burns pick it up, toss it to Uaisele and suddenly the Panthers winger has a double. Walsh perfect with the kick from out wide.
Penrith Panthers 16-0
26 min: TRY
TRY Penrith Panthers
Scored by Lachlan Coote. Conversion attempt by Luke Walsh successful.
Huge break down the middle for the Panthers, and Lachlan Coote running in support is the tryscorer. Shameful defence from the home side. Walsh with his easiest kick of the night so far, converts.
Penrith Panthers 22-0
29 min: Parramatta with some attack but it ends with a forward pass. They looked good in that set but there's something missing in this team.
31 min: The ensuing scrum sees David Simmons break down-field, he makes it to the Eels' 30 before being dragged down. Panthers full set in Eels' territory now.
32 min: Panthers pop it to the right corner and Simmons comes down with it, but the subsequent passes the visitors goes back to Moimoi and the Eels are out of jail.
33 min: Jennings is in under the posts! but no... it's a Panthers knock-on back down the field. Mitch Achurch about to debut for the Panthers.
36 min: More exciting stuff from the Panthers as they make yet another line break inside their own half... this set ends with a Travis Burns error though.
INJURY UPDATE: Nathan Smith off to hospital for a suspected fractured ankle.
40 min: Eels with ten seconds to defend - drop-out.
40 min: FIELD GOAL
FIELD GOAL Penrith Panthers
Field goal attempt by Travis Burns successful.
Burns drop-kicks Sandow's drop-out straight back at him, and nabs a further point at the break.
Penrith Panthers 23-0
HALFTIME at Parramatta.
Penrith Panthers 23 lead Parramatta Eels 0. There's not a lot to say about this one at the break, Penrith dominant, playing superb football. Parramatta... no words. Just terrible.
42 min: The second half has begun at Parramatta.
43 min: Play called to a halt as Mitch Achurch is called out for blood on the face. Trainer wipes it away, 5th tackle, long grubber goes to Eels' winger Sio and the Parramatta side work it off their own line.
45 min: Moimoi tries an intercept but knocks it on. Panthers scrum inside Parramatta's 20m zone.
47 min: TRY
TRY Penrith Panthers
Scored by Brad Tighe. Conversion attempt by Luke Walsh unsuccessful.
Brad Tighe crosses on the back of a huge overlap (admittedly created by a misdirected pass). Penrith pick up where they left off. Walsh to add the extra two... no goal.
Penrith Panthers 27-0 51 min: Sustained attack on the Eels line hasn't produced results this time for Penrith, the Eels are very sketchily holding the visitors out.
58 min: TRY
TRY Penrith Panthers
Scored by Travis Burns. Conversion attempt by Luke Walsh successful.
That's a superb chase from Penrith and the error comes too easily for Sio... Burns picks up the scraps and extends the Panthers lead. Walsh converts.
Penrith Panthers 33-0
64 min: Both sides appear to be going through the motions at the moment, Penrith clearly home and hosed and Parramatta barely looking interested. Atmosphere non-existent.
69 min: TRY
TRY Parramatta Eels
Scored by Reni Maitua. Conversion attempt by Chris Sandow successful.
Determination pays off and Maitua finally crosses the line for the Eels first points of the match. Sandow adds the extras from in front.
Penrith Panthers 33-6
72 min: Both sides dropping the ball regularly. Error count is Eels 10 Panthers 9.
75 min: Very unstructured attack from the Eels, players bunched up and not going anywhere.
76 min: Sandow goes to the air, the Panthers spill it and the hosts get a repeat set.
76 min: Penrith penalised for offside. Eels drop it first tackle. Tim Mannah looks desperate, he's trying to fire up his disinterested teammates.
78 min: VIDEO REFEREE and NO TRY - the Eels looked to have scored through Sandow. The Eels players the ball came off before Sandow set off on a 80 metre run were part of an accidental offside. Penrith scrum 20m from the Eels line.
80 min: TRY
TRY Penrith Panthers
Scored by Etu Uaisele. Conversion attempt by Luke Walsh successful.
Penrith finish the night in the way it began, with a Uaisele try. The Eel-cum-Panther has a hat-trick against his old club! Walsh from out wide... brilliant.
Penrith Panthers 37-6
Parramatta fans will be excused for wanting to forget that one, Penrith dominant and Parramatta falling to their fourth straight defeat to open this season in dead last position.

Click Here to view the live update of the game. | To discuss the game with 1000s of other fans, please click here.