Jersey Flegg Team List
Richard Penisini is out. Blaize Talagi will start at right centre and Charlie Guymer moves onto the bench.
Penrith will kick off to start this elimination final.
Messy start for the Eels as the ball is lost backwards by Lynn. He scoops it up eventually but is met by a vigorous kickchase that bring him down 5m out. A huge letoff comes later in the set when Penrith are pinged inside 10m! Sanders finds touch down the left sideline as Loizou and Parker set up the early runs. Right to Jontay but when the ball comes back midfield to Lenaz he spills it to let the Panthers off the hook.
A good defensive set follows before Penrith kick out of dummy half. Twidle covers it and the backs get to work with Talagi providing a strong carry. Smart run from Matt Arthur to pick off offside markers and earn a set restart but Lenaz produces his second error of the game shortly afterwards – extremely uncharacteristic start from Parramatta’s tireless lock foward.
Penrith work towards an attacking kick but Matt Komolafe takes the crossfield bomb comfortably. The Panthers swarm in defence this set with Martin and Parker met very strongly. Minimal gains this set before Sanders punches it downfield but the Eels are then penalised for holding down in the tackle.
The Eels lift to match the defensive intensity. A very good set there in defence. It concludes with a deflected kick from the Panthers that is then knocked on from them in the dash for the loose ball.
There is a strong carry from Lenaz! Good to see him get back into gear. Parker follows him up with a run that has some neat footwork and draws a penalty on the penultimate tackle. Big play!
Arthur tries to tap and go but he was off the mark so Sanders kicks for touch. Parramatta take their first run too close to the sideline though and Penrith are able to get to the tackle in numbers and drive Brazel into touch.
Defence again showing up as the Panthers are forced to kick from deep in their half. Komolafe takes the clearing kick on the first bounce and from there the Eels get recklessly aggressive. Komolafe goes to Twidle who sees the overlap on the kick chase and looks for the cutout to Loizou. It is very nearly intercepted but the tipped pass still finds Loizou who races downfield for a strong gain.
Right edge shift from there as the ball finds Talagi. Again though, as the Eels look to reallign with a pass back to the posts they lose the ball. I think it was Tupou offloading to Jontay there with the big prop unable to bring it in. Lots of squandered chances here in the first half.
Try scored by the Penrith Panthers. Conversion successful.
Panthers lead 6-0
Penrith with the running now as they make use of some second phase footy down their left edge to run the ball into Parramatta’s half and then kick ahead and force a line drop out.
The short drop out is taken easily by the Panthers and a big set follows. Can the Eels hold on? Penrith go left where it looks like they pass off the ground to avoid getting driven into touch. They go back to the posts for several play and eventually the Eels crack as Peter Taateo gets between Lenaz and Brazel. Arthur is upset about a missed obstruction in the play but the score is official, Penrith with a strong lead now.
Try scored by the Penrith Panthers. Conversion successful.
Panthers lead 12-0
There is a gift. After been starved of the ball in recent exchanges, the Panthers have dropped it cold working towards halfway. Left from the scrum win as Sanders uses Brazel. Jontay trucks it up next but play breaks down on the next tackle as the shift to the right ends up with an errant pass that forces Talagi 10m backwards.
Lynn pops up on the left now and nearly breaks the line! Sharp little play there. Lynn’s carry and play-the-ball bring up the last as Arthur jumps out of dummy half. It is all spine here as Arthur engages the defence and flicks the ball to Sanders. Still plenty of defence for Sanders to drive through but he powers through for the crucial score!
Try scored by Ethan Sanders. Conversion successful by Ethan Sanders.
Eels trail 6-12
Arthur fields the kickoff and sends Parker into the fray. Tupou and Jontay follow before Arthur runs and finds Jontay for a back-to-back run. Lenaz picks up the late penalty when he has the ball stripped clearly in a multiplle-defender tackle.
Parker takes the first run in the following set. Parramatta look for the big play early in the possession. It was defintely on as Twidle rifles a cutout pass towards Martin down the left. The pass is just too low for the flying winger to bring in though and he knocks it on.
A lapse in discipline follows as the Eels are pinged for pushing down in the tackle. It was shaping up as a tough set for the Panthers as well and they are let off the hook.
Komolafe takes another attacking bomb perfectly and is unlucky not to earn a penalty for a looooong tackle. That penalty comes on the next play though as there are hands all over the ball in the ruck,
Talagi takes the first run from the touchfinder. Arthur uses Parker on tackle two as the Eels work left. Big shift to Sam Tuivaiti before there is an outside-in play between Sanders and Twidle. Will Latu very nearly scores on the next play as he fields a deflected kick from Lynn. Defence barely hold him up and the ball comes back to the posts. HERE COMES BIG SAM! Arthur turns in him inside from directly infront of the upright and he was always going to be nightmare to stop there. He was unwinding something fierce there as he plows through a gaggle of tacklers to get the Eels within two and to give Sanders an easy shot at levelling the game.
Try scored by Sam Tuivaiti. Conversion successful by Ethan Sanders.
Eels lock the scores up at 12-all
Penrith screw away an awkward midrange kickoff that Lynn fields on the bounce. A steady build towards the left sees Brazel and Tuivaiti make strong gains before Sanders bombs the Penrith fullback. He loses it backwards in the contest for the ball but it pops up perfectly for his winger to clean it up.
Never mind, they lose the ball on the next play!
Big shift to Talagi who nearly scores but the defence corral him in the nick of time.Two tackles to the left to reset the options and with seconds on the clock the Eels get over! Matt Arthur at his scheming best as he uses a good decoy run from Latu to bullet a room-service, try-assisting pass to Talagi! What a way to go into the sheds!
Try scored by Blaize Talagi. Conversion successful by Ethan Sanders.
Eels lead 18-12
Parramatta Eels 18 lead the Penrith Panthers 12
Parramatta to kick off.
Penrith drive over halfway to set up an attacking kick but they don’t use it. Lane splits the middle of the Eels and has support as he looks to beat Twidle. He passes to his right and it looks like Penrith will be first scorers for all money save for a huge effort from Sanders! He gets the ankle tap and the Penrith runner puts a foot into touch as a result. Huge!
A big counterpunch is sparked by Arthur who has an incisive run. A penalty comes on the last when Sanders’ kick is tipped and leads to offside Panthers. Arthur again! He is having an incredible game! He skips out of dummy half to the left with shape to play to a left edge backline but he turns back to his right and passes across the play-the-ball to find a rampaging Brock Parker! The Eels are in!
Try scored by Brock Parker. Conversion successful by Ethan Sanders.
Eels lead 24-12
Parker gets back-to-back carries, over two sets of course, as he takes the kickoff run. Aggressive left edge movement from the Eels results in Loizou taking a tackle. Tupou brings up the last as Sanders clears it downfield.
Penrith reply with a solid set as they find touch 10m out from Parra’s line with their long range kick.
Now Sanders slices through! Big dummy and run. He has Tupou in support but the big man hasn’t got the legs to outrace the cover chase. Left edge shift from there on the last as the Eels look to attack the scrambling defence. Loizou is caught with the ball but offloads backwards and it looks like Penrith have knocked it on diving for it. No it is a penalty? Offside defenders? Not sure.
Loizou taps and goes. Right to Brazel from there. Right again to Parker in front of the posts. Lynn uses Latu far right but on the next tackle Parker drops it from a long pass from dummy half. The knock on turns into a penalty on the next play as the Eels hold down for too long.
The Panthers are not going away. A neat kick from their five-eighth finds the carpet as Twidle looks to cover but it takes a wicked bounce back over his head and to the Penrith chase. They queue up to score from there and suddenly the game is tight again. A missed conversion gives the Eels a slight buffer.
Try scored by the Penrith Panthers. Conversion unsuccessful.
Panthers trail 16-24
Classy kick from Ethan Sanders to complete Parramatta’s next possession but a call of a high tackle on Jock Brazel gets the Panthers out of trouble. Talagi makes a good one-on-one tackle that looks to have forced an error but there is a late call for a high tackle. That one had to be marginal but it gives Penrith a big chance here but they drop it early in the next set! Bit of justice there for the Eels I reckon.
Great carries from the scrum win. Was it Latu and then Talagi there? Jontay screams into the line on tackle three as Lenaz goes next. Now that is a terrific kick from Lynn! Finds the grass and more as he traps the Penrith custodian ingoals from midfield.
The short restart from the Panthers leads to a contested ball and Loizou knocks it into touch off his shoulder. A penalty for a strip follows as Penrith comes out off their half with ease.
The Eels hold on in the next set as Penrith start to throw the ball around the park. Loizou showed some nice perception there to drop back and field the attacking grubber. Arthur looks to get the Eels downfield with a kick from dummyhalf and two tackles later the Panthers cough it up! Great runs from MArtin and Lenaz up the guts! Left to Brazel who is well tackled. Eels have shape to the right but Arthur looks to roll it in for a flying runner. Lenaz I think it was but it is knocked on by the Panthers. Parra scrum infront of the posts.
Right as Arthur links up with Sanders who floats a cutoff to Komolafe. The big winger does the sensible thing and comes infield. Lenaz takes the settler before the Eels play right again and the class of Talagi comes to the fore with a silky run and flick to Komolafe who has an acrobatic finish to touch down in the right corner! Great footy! Sanders bangs it over from outwide.
Try scored by Matthew Komolafe. Conversion successful by Ethan Sanders.
Eels lead 30-16
Penrith win the short kickoff but turns it over on the very next play.
Back to work for the Eels as Lenaz adds another quality carry to the stat sheet. Talagi threatens down the right but is eventually pulled down as Lynn completes the set with a quality bomb. Penrith spill it backwards where it finds support for the second time today. Some real luck there for the Panthers. Penrith go on to pick up a penalty for offside markers.
Offload city for Penrith now as they desperately try to crack the Eels. Latu makes a strong tackle to stop the movement but the Panthers run it on the last and catch the Eels out to narrow the deficit.
Try scored by the Penrith Panthers. Conversion unsuccessful.
Panthers trail 20-30
Frenzied footy from Penrith as they chase two tries in under 5 minutes. Lots of offloads and shifts of the footy. The Eels are marking up well though and again Penrith run it on the last, this time down their right edge. They create the overlap but have to kick infield where Komolafe has smartly positioned himself to cover for that exact outcome.
Under 3 minutes left in this one. If the Eels can get the ball back one more time you would think they have it won. Ethyn Martin makes a great tackle down his sideline and on the next tackle the Panthers run it on the last for the third straight set. Their half splits the front line of defence but Talagi plucks his pass out of the air as he heaves a long cutout to his left.
Simple set from the Eels from there as Sanders drills the ball into touch to bring us close to a minute left in the game.
One last roll of the dice for Penrith as they kick ahead from their left edge but Apa Twidle is on hand to tidy it up and a handful of hitups will see the Eels home! What a great comeback win from 12-0 down as the Eels progress to week two of the finals!
Parramatta Eels 30 defeat the Penrith Panthers 20