Infotainment Factory: Resilient Eels hold off Panthers comeback

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Sunday, 17 March 2019

Resilient Eels hold off Panthers comeback


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Parramatta showed refreshing resilience to hold off a Penrith fightback in their heated Western Sydney clash.

Parramatta spoiled Ivan Cleary's return to Penrith to claim a controversial victory in their NRL opener.

Mitchell Moses was a standout for the Eels in their 20-12 win, with two back-to-back try-saving tackles a highlight for the young halves star, who had clearly put on a few more kilograms in the off-season.

The Panthers threatened to repeat last year's famous round-one comeback when they whittled a 14-point deficit to be within two on Sunday.

But the Eels showed they will be made of sterner stuff this year to hold on for an impressive triumph against a side widely tipped to be a title contender.

The win came after Michael Jennings, whose sin-binning late in the contest sparked the Panthers revival, was awarded a dubious first half try.

Jenning's sent for high-hit on Yeo

It also may have come at a cost, with key prop Nathan Brown suffering a suspected torn pectoral that could rule him out for up to three months.

A resolute Eels defence had kept the home side scoreless for nearly an hour at Panthers Stadium, when the game turned on Jennings' sin-binning.

The Eels centre denied a maiden NRL try for Maika Sivo when he knocked Isaah Yeo out with a swinging arm that ended him with him being placed on report.

Wayde Egan jumped over not long after, and the 12,604 crowd roared to life when James Tamou barged over soon after that.

However Jennings sealed the two points when he took a perfectly-timed pass from debutant Dylan Brown in the closing moments.

Niukore gets across

First the Eels' chief playmaker stopped Reagan Campbell-Gillard close to the line, before preventing Waqa Blake from cleanly grounding the ball moments later.

There was plenty of anticipation entering the second Cleary era at Penrith, however the home side couldn't have made a worse start.

Numerous mistakes and penalties deep in their own half resulted in the Eels enjoying a 22-4 first half advantage in plays inside the opposition 20-metre zone.

The visitors were also more adventurous with the ball, offloading seven times to one that translated into a two-try lead at the break.

Marata Niukore took advantage of a Blake Ferguson tapback in the 15th minute, while Jennings was also awarded a controversial try.

The video referee gave the green light despite the Eels centre appearing to have juggled the ball into Panthers fullback Dylan Edwards before spinning over.

Penrith forward Hame Sele may have broken his forearm in his club debut.

Parramatta showed refreshing resilience to hold off a Penrith fightback in their heated Western Sydney clash.

Parramatta spoiled Ivan Cleary's return to Penrith to claim a controversial victory in their NRL opener.

Mitchell Moses was a standout for the Eels in their 20-12 win, with two back-to-back try-saving tackles a highlight for the young halves star, who had clearly put on a few more kilograms in the off-season.

The Panthers threatened to repeat last year's famous round-one comeback when they whittled a 14-point deficit to be within two on Sunday.

But the Eels showed they will be made of sterner stuff this year to hold on for an impressive triumph against a side widely tipped to be a title contender.

The win came after Michael Jennings, whose sin-binning late in the contest sparked the Panthers revival, was awarded a dubious first half try.

Jenning's sent for high-hit on Yeo

It also may have come at a cost, with key prop Nathan Brown suffering a suspected torn pectoral that could rule him out for up to three months.

A resolute Eels defence had kept the home side scoreless for nearly an hour at Panthers Stadium, when the game turned on Jennings' sin-binning.

The Eels centre denied a maiden NRL try for Maika Sivo when he knocked Isaah Yeo out with a swinging arm that ended him with him being placed on report.

Wayde Egan jumped over not long after, and the 12,604 crowd roared to life when James Tamou barged over soon after that.

However Jennings sealed the two points when he took a perfectly-timed pass from debutant Dylan Brown in the closing moments.

Niukore gets across

First the Eels' chief playmaker stopped Reagan Campbell-Gillard close to the line, before preventing Waqa Blake from cleanly grounding the ball moments later.

There was plenty of anticipation entering the second Cleary era at Penrith, however the home side couldn't have made a worse start.

Numerous mistakes and penalties deep in their own half resulted in the Eels enjoying a 22-4 first half advantage in plays inside the opposition 20-metre zone.

The visitors were also more adventurous with the ball, offloading seven times to one that translated into a two-try lead at the break.

Marata Niukore took advantage of a Blake Ferguson tapback in the 15th minute, while Jennings was also awarded a controversial try.

The video referee gave the green light despite the Eels centre appearing to have juggled the ball into Panthers fullback Dylan Edwards before spinning over.

Penrith forward Hame Sele may have broken his forearm in his club debut.

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