Full Time
7:55pm Fri July 29, 2022
Round 20 - CommBank Stadium, Parramatta / Burramattagal - Crowd: 26912

Match Overview

Parramatta has defeated the defending premiers Penrith for the second time this season, defeating their bitter rivals by 34-10 at a packed CommBank Stadium tonight.

The Battle of West was turned on it's head in the 18th minute however, when Panthers skipper Nathan Cleary was sensationally sent from the field for a dangerous spear tackle on Eels five-eighth Dylan Brown. Replays showed Cleary's hands were placed illegally between the legs and he then tipped Brown into a dangerous position, leaving the referee with no choice but the send the Panthers number seven from the field.

Parramatta were already leading 12-4 at the time of the send-off and led by Mitchell Moses, the Eels then put the foot down in a dominant first half display to run in five first half tries to thrash the Panthers in an impressive display, despite the opposition being down to 12 men.

The Panthers to their credit rallied in the second half to stem the bleeding somewhat, however Penrith now have a challenge on their hands with now both of their star halves in Jerome Luai and now Cleary looking like spending at least a few weeks on the sideline.

It was a fast start for the premiers, when they piled the pressure on the Eels early and it was second string half Sean O'Sullivan who surprised the home side with the show and go close to the line. The future Dolphin then sliced through to score the first try of the night for the Panthers. Cleary missed from out wide but it was 4-0 after 8 minutes.

The Eels hit straight back through a delightful kick from Eels five-eighth Brown for Isaiah Papali'i who leaped high to come down with the ball to score. Moses converted and it was 6-4 to the home side. Off the back of a perfect 40/20 from Mitchell Moses, his five-eighth Brown then took over again with a superb cut out ball for the Fijian Flyer in Maika Sivo, who scored his 33rd try from 33 games at CommBank Stadium. Moses converted the Sivo try and it was 12-4.

The game was then turned on its head in the 18th minute when Cleary was sensationally sent off for a spear tackle on Brown. Off the next set, Eels hooker Reed Mahoney and Junior Paulo combined through a set play close to the line and Paulo produced a silky offload for Mahoney to score. Moses converted and it was 18-4.

Parramatta continued to have a field day with their opposition a man short, putting the premiers under enormous pressure. Bulldogs bound hooker Mahoney then darted over from dummy half for his second try. This was quickly followed by Eels skipper Clint Gutherson who then got in the act with a jinking run from dummy half. He then grubbered for himself and collected a delicious bounce to score and send the Eels fans into raptures with a shock 30-4 lead at halftime.

Penrith finally returned serve after the break through an unlikely source in prop Moses Leota who produced a terrific draw and pass at the line for backrower Liam Martin who steamed onto the ball and get the Panthers over for the first try of the second half. Sean O'Sullivan converted to narrow the score to 30-10.

Despite the defending premiers rallying in the second half, Parramatta finished with a bang in front of their home fans, when Gutherson threw a superb cut out ball for his winger Sivo who powered away for his second try of the evening to put an exclamation mark on their 34-10 win.

Parramatta now have their tails up and will now face a desperate Manly side next Friday night at Brookvale Oval as they continue to push for a Top 4 spot. Penrith now face a nervous wait tomorrow, when they find out the charge for Nathan Cleary who they will at least be missing for next week's trip to the nation's capital, where the face the Raiders at GIO Stadium next Saturday.

3. Mitchell Moses

Superb display from the Eels number seven. Kicked 2 40/20's in a dominant kicking display. Moses was outstanding with the ball in hand and was at his best in a warning to the competition.

2. Reed Mahoney

Was superb out of dummy half scoring two tries and was tireless in defence.

1. Dylan Brown

Set up 2 tries and was a great foil for his halves partner Moses.