Penrith close on Minor Premiership after 13th straight victory

Penrith Panthers produced a brilliant display to see off top-four contenders, Parramatta Eels, 20-2

The Panthers have now won 13 games straight with only two matches left until the Finals, only Melbourne can stop Penrith from winning their third Minor Premiership in their history.

Penrith looked dangerous in the first half but a succession of brilliant defensive plays from the Eels and uncharacteristic errors from the Panthers allowed Parramatta to take the lead on 29 minutes through a penalty from Mitchell Moses.

The Panthers continued to probe and finally broke through just before the half-time hooter when Jarome Luai found Josh Mansour with a great cut-out pass.

The second half was a different story. Penrith were exceptional in their ball and game control, strangling their top-four opponents into submission.

They scored their second try on 56 minutes when Cleary kicked perfectly for Liam Martin. And Penrith capped off their win with a penalty through Cleary with three minutes left to play and a try for Luai on the hooter.

Panthers: Edwards, Mansour, Nade, Crichton, To’o, Luai, Cleary, Tamou, Koroisau, Fisher-Harris, Kikau, Martin, Yeo; Interchanges: May, Leniu, Leota, Tetevano
Tries: Mansour, Martin, Luai; Goals: Cleary 4

Eels: Gutherson, Sivo, Jennings, Blake, Ferguson, Field, Moses, Campbell-Gillard, Stone, Paulo, Lane, Matterson, Brown; Interchanges: Davey, Evans, Kaufusi, Smith
Goals: Moses

Full match reports of all this weekend’s NRL games will feature in Monday’s League Express.