The Parramatta Eels and the Penrith Panthers are fierce rivals and always put on a show and this 2022 match of the season candidate was no different.

Penrith, unbeaten in 2022. The Eels, still flying high but smarting after a recent inconsistent patch.

Though everyone knew the Eels would be up for this clash and as both sides went toe-to-toe, the Eels emerged victorious, winning 22-20.

It did not take long for the Panthers to assert some dominance as they scored via Dylan Edwards who overpowered Hayze Perham to score.

The Eels would hit back when Will Penisini showed his ability with a lovely offload despite defensive coverage for Clint Gutherson to dive over untouched.

Then came a moment that you either loved or hated depending on who you support.

The Eels were awarded a penalty try after the bunker determined that had he not been held back by Jaeman Salmon, Reed Mahoney would have scored the Eels second try.

Both sides then had tries disallowed before Viliame Kikau stepped up as play-maker and grubbered ahead for Taylan May to score before the break.

At 10-all, the game was evenly poised heading into the second half but its frenetic nature did not let up.

Kikau and May combined a second time, this time via a pass to put Penrith ahead once more.

The Eels resolve in big games would come to the fore, though, as two tries in three minutes saw them hit the lead and ice the game.

Ryan Matterson was the first to score after he combined with Gutherson to slice through a hole, leave Dylan Edwards in his wake and level the scores.

The Eels went up 16-14 and would extend the lead after a moment that Dylan Edwards would rather forget.

Mitchell Moses put up a bomb and all it took was a second of hesitancy from Edwards to let the ball bounce.

There to pounce was Dylan Brown who grabbed the ball, raced away and put the Eels further ahead.

The Panthers were able to hit back after Api Koroisau and Spencer Leniu combined late on to narrow the deficit to two.

Nathan Cleary then had a final chance to level it up with a two-point field goal attempt but it was short and wayward.

The loss was Penrith’s first on home soil since July 2019.

Eels coach Brad Arthur knows his side as the toughness to match the top sides and wants to see these 80 minute games every week.

“We have showed that when we compete hard and play the style of footy that works for us we can push teams to the 80th minute,” Arthur said.

“That game came down the 80th minute and the game against the Storm came down past the 80th minute. We have got to make sure we are doing that every week.”

Panthers assistant coach Andrew Webster, filling in for an injured Ivan Cleary, said the side’s defence pleased them most.

“We were really happy with how aggressive we were in defence, it was just discipline that was letting them off the hook and they were excellent,” Webster said.

NRL News Player of the Game

3. Ryan Matterson (PAR)

2. Viliame Kikau (PEN)

1. Clint Gutherson (PAR)

By ricky

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