Penrith beat Parramatta 22-16 - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Penrith beat Parramatta 22-16

06/07/2008 04:58:19 PM Comments (0)

Penrith charged back into the NRL top eight with a 22-16 upset of fierce rivals Parramatta at Parramatta Stadium.

The Panthers scored a four tries to three victory in front of a disappointing crowd of just 14,012 for the western Sydney derby to overtake the Eels and move into eighth place on the table on 19 competition points.

It was Penrith's first win in over a month after a string of three successive losses, two of them by two points or less, and a 12-all draw to Brisbane last week.

Skipper Petero Civoniceva led the way with a tireless performance for the Panthers just four days after inspiring Queensland to a third State of Origin series win.

However it was the Panthers young trio of Lachlan Coote, Wade Graham and Masada Iosefa who were the real stars along with halfback Luke Lewis.

Coote was outstanding at fullback and booted three of four conversion attempts, Masada barged across for a brilliant solo try in the 30th minute and five-eighth Graham provided superb direction and set up their first two tries with boot and hand.

Lewis scored the Panthers opening try in the ninth minute and then made the pivotal linebreak in the second half to put Frank Pritchard across in the 58th minute which gave Penrith a match-winning 22-12 lead.

Rhys Wesser was the Panthers other tryscorer while the Eels had solo tries either side of halftime to replacement hooker Matthew Keating and five-eighth Feleti Mateo that gave Parramatta a sniff of snatching victory by reducing the deficit to 16-12 with 25 minutes to play.

But as has been the case for much of 2008, the Eels failed to kick on because of a mixture of poor handling and decision making despite a whopping 12-4 penalty count in their favour.

Winger Taulima Tautai had a chance to pull the Eels back within a try but was tackled into the corner post before he could ground it in the corner in the 68th minute.

He made amends in the 77th minute by touching down in the same corner but by then it was too late for the Eels to complete a miracle comeback despite their flashy efforts.

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