The shock victory of the Rivalry Round went to the Parramatta Eels when last year’s Grand Final runners-up travelled to Penrith’s CUA Stadium and were able to beat the second-ranked Panthers 34 – 23 on Saturday night in front of a huge crowd of 22,580 fans.
The Eels have had a disappointing season to date, but after stringing two wins together over the past fortnight, there is still hope for all those Parra fans who bet on them to ‘Make the Top 8’ in the early Ladbrokes.com.au markets.
There is now hope for Parra fans who bet on the Eels to ‘Make the Top 8’ in the early Ladbrokes.com.au markets
Parramatta are now number 10 on the ladder, just two competition points out of finals contention, thanks to their win fuelled by a fighting performance by Jarryd Hayne.
Despite the loss on Saturday, their second in a row following the 12 – 6 loss to New Zealand last week, Penrith have managed to cling to the number two spot but they now trail the number one Dragons by four competition points.
It was a massive effort by the Eels who came from 22 points behind to win by an 11 point margin, equalling their biggest ever comeback, showing the determination this team has to match the feats they reached last season.
Penrith got off to a flying start when Brad Tighe got over just two minutes in.
Blues rep Michael Gordon backed up just six minutes later with another four-pointer, followed by fullback Lachlan Coote’s 14th minute try and then Michael Jennings finished off a head-spinning first quarter scoring the Panthers fourth try in 20 minutes.
Gordon converted three from four and the Eels looked in big trouble trailing by 22 and yet to score.
Incredibly Parramatta didn’t give up and began their sensational comeback with two quick tries within two minutes.
First Fuifui Moimoi scored in the 33rd minute followed by Jonathon Wright in the 35th minute, both converted by Luke Burt to add some respectability to the score heading into the break as they trailed 22 – 12.
In the second half the Eels were simply magic. Just five minutes in Wright made it a match double with another converted try bringing them within four points.
Two more unanswered tries followed one each to Krisnan Inu and the back-in-form Jarryd Hayne, who also kicked the grubber Inu scored off, in the 54th and 66th minutes before Penrith could score again.
Hayne’s try was the best of the night and saw him catch a bomb 10m out from the Eels’ line, run through an army of Panthers and sprint nearly the length of the field to put the ball down under the posts.
More accurate kicking from Burt saw both tries converted and the score swung in favour of the visitors 28 – 22.
The Panthers attempted to regain the lead in the 70th minute when Wade Graham scored their fifth and final try, Gordon booting it through the posts to bring them within two points of victory.
A tense final 10 minutes played out, but the Eels put the result beyond doubt in the final 60 seconds when Justin Horo scored and the Eels finished in front 34 – 22, a remarkable comeback by a team with September footy back in their sights.
The incredible result would have paid especially well for any punters who picked the Panthers to lead at half time but the Eels to win in the Halftime / Fulltime markets at Ladbrokes.com.au.
Punters who bet on Penrith / Eels in the Halftime / Fulltime markets at Ladbrokes.com.au enjoyed a good payout
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