Last year’s NRL wooden spooners, the Parrmatta Eels, have got their new season off to the best possible start with victory against their western Sydney derby rivals the Penrith with a 20-12 victory at the home of the Panthers in wet conditions.
The Eels were in control throughout the game, leading 8-0 at half-time and 14-0 on 45 minutes. Despite losing Michael Jennings to the sinbin for a high shot on Isaah Yeo, that prompted a response by the Panthers, they held out for victory.
The Eels scored two first-half tries through Marata Niukore and Jennings, with reed Mahoney adding their third early in the second half.
The Panthers hit back when Jennings was sinbinned, however, scoring tries to Wade Egan and James Tamou to bring them back to within two points as Jennings returned to the field.
But the Eels stabilised and a late tackle on Mitchell Moses saw them given a penalty and Jennings scored a try out wide, with Moses adding the clinching conversion.
Panthers: T – Egan, Tamou; G – Cleary 2
Eels: T – Niukore, Jennings 2, Mahoney; G – Moses 2
Full coverage of the weekend’s NRL action will feature in Monday’s edition of League Express