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Pirtek Parramatta Eels rule the West
The Pirtek Parramatta Eels have shut-out the Penrith Panthers to win the Battle of the West 30-0 in their final trial before Round 1 of the NRL.
The Parramatta Eels and Panthers were even for the first 20 minutes, with both unable to capitalise on chances near the opposition tryline and in the 9th minute the Eels lost Chris Walker for the game when he left the field with a dislocated toe.
In the 19th minute Parramatta got the scoreboard ticking over when halfback Jeff Robson continued his fantastic trial form and put Taniela Lasalo over with a great ball close to the line.
The Eels pushed ahead 12-0 through Paul Whatuira, who was able to grab onto a spilled Daniel Mortimer bomb and rush across the line against his old club.
Parramatta were put under pressure later in the half but Daniel Mortimer came up with a try-saving play, kicking the ball clear of the in-goal just as the Panthers went to put the ball down. Luke Burt wrapped up the ball from the kick in the next set with deft hands and got the Eels out of trouble with a strong kick return.
With four minutes remaining in the half the Eels furthered the lead to 18-0 when Robson again attacked the line, this time kicking for Ben Smith to score.
Mortimer again played try-saver in the second half when the Panthers looked certain to score down the sideline before the five-eighth dragged the player into touch. Six minutes later Parramatta scored again, this time Matt Keating crossing for a 24-0 lead.
The Eels asserted further dominance over the Panthers in the 67th minute with Jarryd Hayne kicking from the right side of the field back towards the goalposts for Justin Horo, who was sprinting through and caught and grounded the ball for a spectacular try.
The Eels completely shut out the Panthers for the rest of the match for a convincing 30-0 win, taking home the Battle of the west Cup for the second time in three years.
PARRAMATTA EELS 30 (Taniela Lasalo, Paul Whatuira, Ben Smith, Matt Keating, Justin Horo tries; Luke Burt 5 goals) d. PENRITH PANTHERS 0 at Centrebet Stadium. Crowd: 13,228.
The Pirtek Parramatta Eels Toyota Cup team scored right on the siren to defeat the Penrith Panthers 22-20 in their final trial before the season.
The Eels scored right at the end of the match, snatching the lead back to win the game. Jason Wehbe sent a kick across the field and Josh Tuitupou jumped on a loose ball when the Penrith winger failed to ground it.
PARRAMATTA EELS 22 (Marmin Barba 2, Jon Pepa, Josh Tuitupou tries; Cameron Breust 2, Jason Wehbe goals) PENRITH PANTHERS 20 (Nick Mataia, Vaipuna Tia Kilifi, Mick Compton, Cameron Miller tries; 2 goals).