Parramatta continue winning ways - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Parramatta continue winning ways

By Steve Jancetic 05/06/2005 06:33:06 PM Comments (0)

It wasn't pretty, but the Parramatta juggernaut rolled on to it's fourth successive win with a 32-22 NRL victory at Penrith Stadium over a Panthers outfit which has seemingly forgotten how to win.

The Eels cemented their spot in the top five with the six-tries to four victory, while Penrith's hopes of figuring in finals football are fast becoming only a mathematical possibility.

Winger Eric Grothe, who may have played himself into calculation for a NSW spot, and super sub backrower Dean Widders were sensational for the Eels, who now appear on track for their first taste of September football since 2002.

But Parramatta coach Brian Smith said the side still had a lot of work to do.

"You can't get too cosy about all this, but it's been a long time since we've been in the top four," Smith said.

"I hope the boys enjoy the feeling. I hope they're prepared to keep working for it because it's certainly (going to) take a whole lot more to keep us there then it did to even get there." A dominant start and overpowering finish laid the platform fort the Eels today, though the Panthers cause wasn't helped by the loss of Frank Pritchard (knee) and Rhys Wesser (corked hip) to injury.

Glenn Morrison and Grothe scored tries in the opening nine minutes for the visitors, with Morrison showing a surprising turn of pace to outsprint the Panthers cover defence in a 60 metre run to the line for the opening four pointer.

The Panthers hit back through tries to the two Lukes, Luke Lewis and Luke Swain, but the introduction of Widders changed the context of the game.

He backed up a fine Grothe bust to put the Eels back in front before the break, and should have had another right on the stroke of halftime only for referee Sean Hampstead to rule a pass from Luke O'Dwyer went forward in the build up.

"The no try ruling for Dean just before halftime was astonishing and really it was an important time and it would have out us twelve in front right on halftime," Smith said.

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