[2023] R4 Eels v Panthers - Game Day Thread

R4 Parramatta Eels v Penrith Panthers

Game Day Information

:rugby_football: Match Parramatta Eels v Penrith Panthers
:stadium: Venue Commbank Stadium, Penrith NSW
:clock10: Time Thursday 23rd March 2022 8:00pm
:tickets: Tickets Tickets via Ticketek
:rugby_football: Other Matches NSWCUP Parramatta Eels v Penrith Panthers 23/3 5:20pm
JFLEGG Parramatta Eels v Penrith Panthers 25/3 2:30pm*
SGBALL Parramatta Eels v Penrith Panthers 25/3 1:00pm*
HMATTS Parramatta Eels v Penrith Panthers 25/3 11:30am*
TGCUP Parramatta Eels v Penrith Panthers 25/3 10:00pm*
:sun_behind_rain_cloud: Weather TBD
:tv: Broadcast :tv: Channel 9 (FTA) [LIVE]
:tv: Fox League (Channel 502) [LIVE]
:desktop_computer: NRL Live Pass [LIVE]
:kayo: Kayo Sports [LIVE]
:radio: ABC Sydney 702AM [LIVE]
:radio: 2GB Sydney 873AM [LIVE]
:radio: MMM Sydney 104.9FM [LIVE]

:rugby_football: Telstra Premiership | Full Time

Penrith Panthers 16 Tries Dylan Edwards, Zac Hosking.
Goals Nathan Cleary (3/3) 2FG Nathan Cleary (1)
Parramatta Eels 17 Tries Bryce Cartwright, Brendan Hands.
Goals Mitchell Moses (4/4) FG Mitchell Moses (1)

:rugby_football: Knock On Effect NSW Cup | Full Time

Penrith Panthers 16 Tries Tom Jenkins (2), Eddie Blacker.
Goals Kurt Falls (2/3)
Parramatta Eels 22 Tries Haze Dunster, Mitch Rein, Arthur Miller-Stephen, Joshuah Minhinnick.
Goals Jordan Rankin (3/4)

Postgame Media







Telstra Premiership Knock on Effect NSW Cup Jersey Flegg Cup
:rugby_football: Eels v Panthers :rugby_football: Eels v Panthers :rugby_football: Eels v Panthers
:clock3: Thursday 23/3 8:00pm :clock3: Thursday 23/3 5:20pm :clock3: Saturday 11/3 2:30pm
:stadium: Commbank Stadium :stadium: Commbank Stadium :stadium: New Era Stadium
1. Dylan Edwards 1. Isaiah Iongi 1. Liam Ison
2. Sunia Turuva 2. Tom Jenkins 2. Daeon Amituanai
3. Izack Tago 3. Tyrone Peachey 3. Angelis Hotere-Papalii
4. Stephen Crichton 4. Jack Cole 4. Sam Lane
5. Brian To’o 5. Jesse Mclean 5. Cody Lawson
6. Jarome Luai 6. Kurt Falls 6. Ryley Smith
7. Nathan Cleary © 7. Jack Cogger 7. Fletcher Haycock
8. Moses Leota 8. Liam Henry 8. Sunita Lotoaniu
9. Mitch Kenny 9. Luke Sommerton 9. Connor Mason
10. James Fisher-Harris 10. Eddie Blacker 10. Peter Taateo
11. Luke Garner 11. Zac Hosking 11. Harrison Hassett
12. Liam Martin 12. Chris Smith 12. Zac Lipowicz
13. Isaah Yeo © 13. Lindsay Smith 13. Aston Warwick
14. Soni Luke 14. Trent Toelau 14. Kristian-Li Mai
15. Scott Sorensen 15. Ativalu Lisati 15. John Sagaga
16. Spencer Leniu 16. John Faiumu 16. Adam Runchel
17. Jaeman Salmon 17. Mavrik Geyer 17. Ryley Wake
18. Matt Eisenhuth 18. Matt Stimson 18. Addison Williams
19. Zac Hosking 19. Lleyton Finau
20. Tyrone Peachey
21. Jack Cogger
22. Tom Jenkins
HC Ivan Cleary HC Ben Harden HC Jono Rolfe
AC Peter Wallace
AC Ben Garnier

Match Officials

Telstra Premiership K.O.E NSW Cup Jersey Flegg Cup
Referee Ashley Klein Kasey Badger Ethan Klein
Sideline Official Liam Kennedy Damian Brady Charlie Suters
Dave Munro Nick Beashel Ethan Murray
Video Referee Adam Gee - -

Referee Success Rate

Referee Active Since 2023 Overall Pen. For Pen. Against Ratio
Ashley Klein 2009 (0/0) -% (20/45) 44.44% 186.5 184 1.01

:mega: Teamlists and Match Officials have been updated




Should be a cracking game tonight and there is much on the line for both teams, although Eels have most at risk in my view
They are 0 from 3 and are under pressure from their supporters and indeed themselves.
will be fascinating to see the tactics from the Eels tonight and although they have been competitive in their 3 games they just haven’t looked balanced.

we on the other hand found our mojo against Souths and then had a week off which is hard to assess how this will affect us.

Both sides are putting their best on the park so should be a beauty

I think Panthers in a blow out, i just think the Eels will not respond well especially if they get behind

Only caveat to this is the storms forecast for tonight.

First 20 mins is critical, if we can hold em and even have the ascendancy early, they will crumble. If we allow them to bully us which is their ONLY option, they might pull one of those bullshit flukes that their fanatics rave about :face_vomiting:

The last game I’m not going to be able to watch live!!!

If I knew in advance I was leaving my job I would have asked for today off & worked Saturday instead.

:rugby_football: Knock On Effect NSW Cup | Full Time

Penrith Panthers 16 Tries Tom Jenkins (2), Eddie Blacker.
Goals Kurt Falls (2/3)
Parramatta Eels 22 Tries Haze Dunster, Mitch Rein, Arthur Miller-Stephen, Joshuah Minhinnick.
Goals Jordan Rankin (3/4)


Martin out - replaced with Hosking.

Not feeling so confident now, hopefully Leota smashes them in the opening 20 minutes like he did in the grand final

:rugby_football: Telstra Premiership | Full Time

Penrith Panthers 16 Tries Dylan Edwards, Zac Hosking.
Goals Nathan Cleary (3/3) 2FG Nathan Cleary (1)
Parramatta Eels 17 Tries Bryce Cartwright, Brendan Hands.
Goals Mitchell Moses (4/4) FG Mitchell Moses (1)


well they turned up and the immediate take away is they cannot play any better and we have heaps of improvement

question…is Garner injured or did he get hooked?

our rotation was hurt not only by the Luke injury but by Garner not being available

just on Luke and now he is out for our next game and we will lose Kenny for his tackle, who is likely hooker?

On our game last night i thought Moses clearly out kicked Cleary although oddly both of them kicked to the same player and were simply bombs for distance which has me baffled and its been a tactic evident now with Cleary this year. He has so much more to his game and baffles me why we persist with the bomb.

Luai had a very poor game in my view and didn’t add anything to us in attack and there has to be some concern over him as we need him at his best to be a alternate to Cleary

On positives Hosking was very solid as were Turuva who is clearly nuts and Edwards was superb in a beaten side so much so he was MOM in my eyes.

But we have issues in our forwards, we just don’t seem to be bending sides backwards in attack or importantly defence.

Leota tries but seems to be the only enforcer, Lenui tries but isn’t getting big enough minutes to make the difference.

We are now 1 win in Round 4 losing to Broncos and now eels albeit by 1 point.

If Kenny didn’t have a brain snap we win the game, that penalty from him was simply dumb,

we play the Raiders next week so we will have to quickly turn our attention to getting ready for them.

does anyone else think we are a little weak in attack and the ability to score points?

Just get this feeling we used to use power with Kikau and open teams up and were able to put on a score.

the last 4 games including the WCC we have only managed 56 points or 14 points a game

scoring on average 14 points a game will not win you the comp.

our defence is sound, its just our offence which is very very suspect in my view.

I don’t quite agree there. The contact was high, but Waqa Blake was falling into it, and there was at least 3-4 instances where the same kind of incident happened in the game unchecked by officials. I thought Kenny was very hard done by. It almost seemed that they were itching to send a player off after Paulo got marched before fulltime.

Regarding Hookers, there has been a lot of talk about Soni Luke and having him play the majority of the game, with Kenny moved to the bench (and some cases to reserve grade). I think many of them are missing the point of the two hookers. Some say the Halfback dictates the flow of play, but I would argue that the Hooker does far more to dictate to speed of that flow. Players like Mitch Kenny slow the play when the team needs to rely more of defence and set the tone of the attacking side. Players like Soni Luke are quick and can accelerate the pace of attack, which can cause strain of tiring defence. It really depends on what stage of the game the team is at.

If you look at the first half we did far more with less ball in the second half, locked up at 8-8 at the halftime whistle. In the second half, we got more ball, but it didn’t translate to points. Soni Luke being ruled HIA hit Penrith right where they were looking to amp up the pressure it had been building, Mitch was left out there to play the full 82 minutes. He was looking tired, usually he would go off so a stint and return in the last 10 minutes to reinforce the defence and slow down the oppositions attack.

If Parramatta should be congratulated for anything they executed their plan well. They kept Edwards out of the mix. Constantly putting pressure on Turuva and making him put on the return metres rather than Edwards. I feel that backfired on them. Turuva ran 319m (includes 176 Kick return metres), and Edwards found a way to inject himself into the attack despite only having 69 return metres, running 313m in total.

Moses will be upset with the talk on the radio and news this morning. While he may have kicked the winning field goal last night, if definitely not the one they are talking about this morning. That 45m monster 2 point field goal by Cleary epitomises what the club is all about. They were down by two and they were handed a opportunity for one play on the buzzer. The kick for touch had to be spot on, which he nailed to the 40m line. Everybody knew the play, Penrith, Parramatta, the crowd, the game commentary. The ball was coming out the Cleary standing about 45m out. It would be a deep pass as Parramatta knows what is about to happen, pulling a fake and running it would be a losing strategy. The Parramatta defensive line rushes for Cleary, RCG gets just within arms length and then Cleary launches it. From a side view you think he shanked it and it was going away from the posts, but a camera shot from the posts told a totally different story. He was going to nail it… and you know regardless of the result that all most people will be talking about. Cleary knew what he had to do and delivered.

I wasn’t too disappointed about the result. It’s early in the season, and there is still some improvements and some time is needed to lock down combinations and positions. It will come together. The strength from Penrith lies in it’s system. Trust in the process, and they will deliver.


Soni Luke will have to go though 11 day HIA recovery protocol so will be scrubbed for the matchup in Canberra.

Mitch Kenny was charged with a Grade 1 Careless Tackle which only results in a financial penalty, he will be right to play next week.

The two options at hooker is to either shift Jaeman Salmon into the rotating Hooker role and bing in another utility player or to bring up Luke Sommerton from NSW Cup and put him on the bench. Both to me seem like good options, so we should be okay in the Hooker role.


Thanks, Steve. Insightful commentary. It exemplifies why this forum is the place to go for Penrith fans interested in quality analysis.
That match seemed a bit like Penrith vs Penrith (Gillard, Blake, Cartwright, Hands, Hopgood, Sivo).
Kenny might be excused for being careless due to excess minutes on the field. But Leota’s late hit was dumb (IMHO). I suppose that’s just part of the game.
When I saw the match info, and saw that Klein was officiating us again, my heart sank. Parra could do no wrong for the first 35 minutes, and the Kenny penalty, at such a crucial moment, won them the match. No nuanced refereeing there.


Yes Pete, refereeing was a bit arbitrary at times; for the life of me i can see no consistency in the 6 again rulings (in games generally, not just this one). On the bright side, we didn’t spend much time trapped in the bunker.

I am in agreement with both these points Steve.
The Kenny penalty & the sin-binning were just a reaction to the earlier one. There are 20+ similar tackles every game that don’t draw any action. The Paulo one was a bad one & the charges reflect it.

We have the squad to take this all the way & we just need to keep our heads over the next 6 months - after all Klien can’t be the ref for all our games :slight_smile:


As much as i hate to say it, it was a good game, huge completion rates. I think we were expecting them to fold in the final 10…didn’t happen.

The big take away from me was BA in the coaches box after they kicked the field goal, his face was priceless while they were carrying on like they won the GF

It’s round 4, we are well on our way !

Agreed. I’m not a fan of the 6 again. Very subjective depending on the referee, and no chance to challenge the decision. It might speed up the game, but with at times questionable rulings.

Watching the game now, after spending most of last night in emergency at St Vincent’s for a HIA.

Despite the result, a pretty good game between 2 teams who are still finding their feet with new combinations.

Impressed with Hosking on debut, looks like a handy pick up.

Turuva is handling the step up really well.

I think losing Luke to the HIA probably ended up being the difference in the game, especially with Kenny needing to play bigger minutes that he is not used to. We also missed Luke’s smart plays against tiring defence.

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And now for something different - statistics. There seems to be some discussion elsewhere about the Parramatta (Moses) kick metres being over 1000m. And there is the associated huge run metres from our back three. If a team like ours defends well, the opponents are always kicking from deep in their half. So, they are kicking for yardage, and Moses has a big boot. In contrast, when a team is attacking in the enemy half, the kicks are attacking, like bombs to the corners or grubbers in goal, and these will be short. So, in summary, big kick metres (like Parra did) means you are being kept in your own half by good defence and you’ll have very few attacking occasions. Further, the back three will retrieve those long kicks and make 20 or more metres every kick return (with a relatively reduced post-contact metres score) before meeting the defensive line. And, of course, refereeing becomes more important to get a leg up, and arbitrary 6-agains become a sore point.