Full Time
4:05pm Sun March 17, 2019
Round 1 - BlueBet Stadium - Crowd: 12604

Match Overview

Parramatta exploded out of the blokes with a high-energy performance over a bumbling Panthers side, holding on for a 20-12 win after a second half resurgence from the home side.

The away side played with enthusiasm and energy, dominating the first 40 and ultimately spending most of the half in the Panthers' red zone. Penrith didn't help their cause by constantly turning the ball over far too often. Tactically Penrith were good enough either, constantly kicking to Ferguson, who was more than equal to the task.

The scoring opened in the 14th minute when Moses kicked to the right side for Ferguson, who tapped the ball back to Takairangi, who run towards the right corner before kicking back infield. Niukore picked up the loose ball and burrowed over and just managing to get the ball down on the line for a try. Moses failed to convert from touch.

5 minutes later and play was stopped as Nathan Brown was helped off the field with what looked like a serious pectoral injury. Hame Sele was also a first half casualty, suffering a suspected broken arm.

In the 24th minute, Parramatta crossed again after some beautiful short passing close to the line, before the last pass to a barnstorming Jennings was juggled several times while he was falling, before regaining possession and scoring on the left side. Moses again was unable to convert, giving the Eels an 8-0 lead which they took to halftime.

Six minutes into the second half and Parramatta scored again. A loose pass was cleaned up by Moses, who then flung an offload to Mahoney, who bumped out of a tackle and then dived over to score. Moses converted.

Just shy of the hour mark, Penrith fired back after Michael Jennings was sent to the sin bin for a high tackle which knocked out Isaah Yeo. From the next set Egan went on a probing run from dummy half close to the Eels line, looking for a runner, but then slipped through a small gap to score himself. Cleary converted.

7 minutes later and James Tamou defied 5 Parramatta defenders to burrow over for a try next to the posts, which Cleary converted, reducing the Panthers deficit to just 2 points.

With just 4 minutes remaining in the game, Gutherson held up a pass to put Jennings over for a good try on the left side, which Moses converted to give the Eels a 20-12 victory.

3. Blake Ferguson

Ferguson had a lot of pressure sent his way and he was equal to the task and had a near faultless debut for the Eels.

2. Dylan Brown

Brown in his NRL debut looked like a seasoned pro. Cool and calm, picked his times nicely, great long kicking game.

1. Daniel Alvaro

The big Eels forward had a great game, especially in defence.