Sunday 5th July at Credit Union Australia Stadium
Penrith 38 – Tries: Jennings (3), Grant (1), Paulo (1), Smith (1), Tia Kilifi (1); Goals: Walsh (5) | Parramatta 34
The Panthers opened the scoring when Tim Grant ran on to a Paul Aiton pass from close range and barged his way over, with Luke Walsh’s conversion making it 6-0.
Two converted tries to the Eels gave the visitors a 12-6 lead just after the 20 minute mark, however, the hosts would soon after lock it back up at 12-all when Michael Jennings from a standing start around 25 metres jogged at the defensive line and then with a right side step broke the line and touched down.
Whilst Parramatta once again regained the lead to make it 18-12, the Panthers finished the half with two tries, the first to Joseph Paulo who reduced it to two, and when the Eels let a mid field bomb from Walsh bounce, Jennings sprinted through and scooped up the ball near the the try line to cross over for a double. Walsh’s conversion gave the Panthers a 22-18 half time lead.
Whilst the Eels tied it up at 22-all eight minutes after the resumption, this was quickly countered by the Panthers when Nathan Smith busted through the defensive line only metres out and powered his way over to make it 26-22.
To continue the general trend, the Eels were next to score and crucially converted the try to take a 28-26 with still twenty minutes remaining.
Penrith would once again regain the lead when Wade Graham broke the line at the halfway, and found Jennings looming up on his inside, and despite being cover tackled, natural momentum propelled him across the line to complete a hat-trick.
Not surprisingly, Parramatta responded soon after with a try to lead by 2 with just under 10 minutes remaining.
When debutant winger Junior Tia Kilifi crashed over in the corner, it was the sixth lead change and edged the hosts ahead by 2, with Walsh slamming the sideline conversion to make it four with as many minutes remaining. The Panthers held out to win a wild points shoot out in Sydney’s western derby.