A bit of controversy ahead of next season - both the St George-Illawarra Dragons and Wests Tigers ha...
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It was a night where the Eels never truly looked troubled when it mattered - two penalties to the home side in the opening minute set the tone and within three minutes Parramatta had a 6-0 lead courtesy of Daniel Mortimer. Two near-misses from Penrith later (the Eels' defence doing enough to keep them out), and the Eels posted their second try, Luke Burt scoring in the corner to put his side 12-0 in front.
The Eels continued on their merry way, scoring another try with two minutes to go before halftime, Daniel Mortimer finding his way to the tryline for his second of the night. It then took Parramatta very little time to extend their lead after the break - Matt Keating going himself to open proceedings and from there the floodgates opened.
Jarryd Hayne's brilliance was such a feature of the match that Daniel Anderson pulled him with 15 minutes to go after learning of a back complaint. Hayne managed a 40/20 and had a hand in five of Parramatta's eight tries, despite scoring none of his own. Daniel Mortimer was equally electric, making tackle after tackle all over the park and playing a near perfect game at five-eighth, capping it all with his first ever hat-trick.
The Panthers managed a late consolation try before the Eels continued to tick the scoreboard over, Fuifui Moimoi the last Parramatta tryscorer in the 79th minute to push the score close to the 50-point mark.
The victory sets up Parramatta's third straight Friday night showstopper next week when they face the first-placed St George Illawarra Dragons at Kogarah. It's curtains for Penrith already one might say, but they could still mathematically be a hope when they meet Newcastle at EnergyAustralia Stadium next Sunday afternoon.
Match Details Parramatta Eels 48 def Penrith Panthers 6 Round 25 - Friday August 28th, 2009 07:35pm Venue: Parramatta Stadium Referee: Shayne Hayne & Jason Robinson Sideline Officials: Steve Carrall & Paul Holland Video Referee: Bill Harrigan Crowd: 20,237 Halftime: Parramatta Eels 18 Penrith Panthers 0
LeagueUnlimited.com Live Commentary Talk about the Eels v Panthers Round 25 clash as it happens - forum discussion - click here!
BIG game at Parramatta Stadium tonight and we're here to take you through it LIVE. There's a capacity crowd filling the stadium with blue & gold, and plenty of black in there too. The Panthers are donning their white "away" strip tonight while the Eels are in their predominantly blue jersey.
A few quick team changes, the Eels switching Ben Smith into the forward pack, with Joe Galuvao back to the bench. Penrith bench players Nathan Smith and Tim Grant miss out, with the reshuffled forward pack and bench listed below. Those teams:
EELS: 1. Jarryd Hayne 2. Luke Burt 3. Krisnan Inu 4. Joel Reddy 5. Eric Grothe 6. Daniel Mortimer 7. Jeff Robson 8. Nathan Cayless 9. Matthew Keating 10. Fuifui Moimoi 11. Nathan Hindmarsh 16. Ben Smith 13. Todd Lowrie Interchange: 12. Joe Galuvao 14. Kevin Kingston 15. Feleti Mateo 17. Tim Mannah PANTHERS: 1. Jarrod Sammut 2. Junior Tia Kilifi 3. Michael Jennings 4. Brad Tighe 5. Michael Gordon 6. Wade Graham 7. Luke Walsh 17. Adam Woolnough 16. Maurice Blair 10. Frank Puletua 11. Trent Waterhouse 12. Frank Pritchard 13. Luke Lewis Interchange: 8. Matthew Bell 9. Paul Aiton 15. Joseph Paulo 20. Gavin Cooper
The teams are on the park, Parramatta is awash with colour as fireworks explode in the background.
Shayne Hayne blows time-on, and we have kickoff in this 8th v 9th blockbuster!
1 min: PENALTY Eels - Panthers inside the ten on tackle two.
1 min: PENALTY Eels - another penalty against the visitors, all within the first 60 seconds. Parramatta heavy on the attack now.
3 min: TRY Parramatta Eels Jeff Robson with an amazing grubber which clips the goalpost pad, Jarrod Sammut falls in his attempt to get the ball and five-eighth Daniel Mortimer dives on the scraps to open the scores. Conversion attempt by Luke Burt successful. Parramatta Eels 6-0
5 min: An attacking opportunity for Penrith now, they spill it on tackle four though and Parramatta take possession back.
6 min: A poor attempted offload by Cayless gives Penrith the ball inside the Eels' half.
6 min: VIDEO REFEREE - Possible Panthers try A bomb goes up. Waterhouse looks like he's been held up as he comes down with the ball. Hayne looks to have gotten underneath him. Decision pending... NO TRY - somehow the Panthers ruled to have knocked it on despite the ball going backwards to Waterhouse. Eels handover coming off their own ten.
7 min: The Eels' faithful blowing up as Hayne is ruled to have knocked the ball on. Replays show there might've been some assistance from the Penrith defenders but the men in black will feed the scrum.
8 min: VIDEO REFEREE - Possible Panthers try Walsh grubbers on the last, Joel Reddy gets to the ball but Jennings might've touched it too. Reddy's grounded it for mine. NO TRY. Line drop-out Eels, Panthers with another set.
9 min: Last tackle grubber from Walsh this time dribbles over the touch-in-goal line and the pressure is off the Eels.
10 min: A long kick puts incredible pressure on Sammut and he's butchered it, the ball deflecting into touch. Eels scrum feed just 10m out!
12 min: VIDEO REFEREE - Possible Eels try A chip over the top on the last tackle from Jarryd Hayne finds the Penrith defenders caught out and Luke Burt's won the race to the ball... it's a TRY!
13 min: TRY Parramatta Eels A chip over the top on the last tackle from Jarryd Hayne finds the Penrith defenders caught out and Luke Burt's won the race to the ball... it's a TRY! Conversion attempt by Luke Burt successful. Parramatta Eels 12-0
14 min: PENALTY Eels - three-nil the count so far. Poor discipline from the visiting Penrith side so far.
18 min: Line drop-out forced after a good metre-gaining set from the Panthers. They'll get another six here. Can they reel the Eels in?
19 min: Last tackle chip-kick from Jarrod Sammut flies straight into Matthew Keating's arms. No luck for the Panthers thus far.
28 min: Penrith making some good metres up-field before a suspect play-the-ball and then a supposed knock-on stunt their movement.
30 min: Krisnan Inu ruled to have knocked on centre-field. Panthers ball now.
31 min: Gavin Cooper gets away and he's within ten, he gets the offload away but Joel Reddy picks it up... Michael Jennings forces him in goal but referee Jason Robinson awards the PENALTY to the Eels for going on with the tackle after it was completed.
32 min: Eels spill the ball and compound it with a PENALTY. Luke Lewis looking groggy in backplay as Penrith attack.
33 min: Penrith start left and float the ball right, Michael Gordon can't get past the Eels defence though and they remain scoreless.
34 min: Jarrod Sammut spills the pill returning a kick. This will give the Eels another shot as Mateo comes on to replace Todd Lowrie.
36 min: Parramatta force the drop-out, another set here.
38 min: TRY Parramatta Eels Daniel Mortimer is setting the Eels on fire! He ducks, he weaves, he's over! Mortimer gets past numerous defenders and finally fullback Sammut to score next to the posts! Conversion attempt by Luke Burt successful. Parramatta Eels 18-0
HALFTIME: Parramatta Eels 18 Penrith Panthers 0 What more can you say? The Panthers have dominated possession and field position but have nothing in attack... the Eels are using their limited ball to it's maximum potential and accordingly have a commanding 18-0 lead. The game is the Eels' for the taking here, and if they end up with more possession after the break, it could get ugly.
Back into proceedings here at Parramatta Stadium. The second half has begun.
41 min: An error starts the second half for Penrith, Parramatta have the scrum feed on their own 40m line.Parramatta Eels 18-0
43 min: TRY Parramatta Eels I said it would get ugly - but I didn't know it would come so soon. Matt Keating dummies his way through the Penrith defence and runs 30m to score a brilliant individual try. Conversion attempt by Luke Burt successful. Parramatta Eels 24-0
45 min: PENALTY Panthers - Mateo paying too much attention to the ball in the ruck as he attempts a tackle on Waterhouse. Penrith to attack now.
47 min: Nothing doing for the Panthers, the Eels force the error and will work it off their own line.
48 min: 40/20 KICK Jarryd Hayne (Eels) - who else? Eels with a scrum on the 10m line at Penrith's end of the park...
49 min: Knock-on from Nathan Hindmarsh in a tackle lets Penrith off the hook.
52 min: VIDEO REFEREE - Possible Eels try. A long kick from Hayne goes into the in-goal. Jarrod Sammut picks it up on his own line and Luke Burt (who is onside) looks to have forced him in-goal... hold on - he's claiming a try! Decision pending...
53 min: TRY Parramatta Eels Burt is awarded a freakish try - it's a blue & gold washout here! Conversion attempt by Luke Burt successful. Parramatta Eels 30-0
56 min: Another attempt at 40/20 by Hayne, this time Tia-Kilifi gets to it and denies the insane fullback.
60 min: Penrith with a positive attacking set on the Eels line but still no points.
63 min: TRY Parramatta Eels It's official - Jarryd Hayne's a freak. He jigs! He steps! He's through! Then, to cap it off, he throws a pinpoint pass in-field to a flying Daniel Mortimer for the little five-eighth's third try - his first hat-trick in first grade. Conversion attempt by Luke Burt successful. Parramatta Eels 36-0
69 min: TRY Penrith Panthers The Panthers with a huge break from Michael Jennings. They play it to the right and eventually Maurice Blair finds his way across the line. Far too little, far too late, but consolation nonetheless. Conversion attempt by Michael Gordon successful. Parramatta Eels 36-6
74 min: VIDEO REFEREE - Possible Eels try Mateo a HUGE break down the touchline. He throws a long looping pass in-field to Joel Reddy who bumps and dummies his way over the line. Just checking if he is guilty of a double movement crossing the line. Decision pending...
75 min: TRY Parramatta Eels The try is awarded as the Parramatta Eels break the 40-point barrier. Luke Burt keeps his remarkable kicking record intact as the home side cruises to victory. Parramatta Eels 42-6
79 min: TRY Parramatta Eels And the big unit Fuifui caps off a superb Eels victory. Krisnan Inu with a huge break. He's got no support and is tackled, but they throw the ball in-field and find a charging Fuifui. He's brought down, then they play it to the left, bring it back to where Fuifui's standing, and he charges over the line! Fuifui Moimoi scores!! Conversion attempt by Luke Burt successful. Parramatta Eels 48-6
FULLTIME: Parramatta Eels 48 Penrith Panthers 6 A victory as emphatic as it was important for the Parramatta Eels tonight, trouncing the Penrith Panthers and enhancing their chances dramatically of making the final eight. Freakish performances from Jarryd Hayne and Daniel Mortimer, a workhorse display from Krisnan Inu, Joel Reddy and all the Eels' forward pack... a sensational team performance. While the Panthers were terrible, this performance will surely put the Bulldogs, Dragons and Titans on red alert.