Wed, Mar 16, 11:23pm by Kevin Pitstock
During the trials this year the Parramatta Eels THUMPED the Penrith Panthers 30-0, to make matters worse the game was played in Penrith. In week 2 we see these 2 teams come up against each other once again, and after round 1 they are at opposite ends of the table already. Parramatta were convincing last week in their performance against the Warriors in NZ, they were a little rusty towards the end but had enough in the tank to hold off the last onslaughts of the opposition. The Panther’s were hapless against a strong Knights outfit, which sees them sitting nice and comfortably at the bottom of the table on for and against. It has been fairly even with these 2 for quite a while now, splitting the last 10 matches in half. At Parra stadium the Eels hold the advantage 11 to 7.
The Eels were impressive against the Warriors with the highest completion rate of the weekend at 84%. It was either the coaching or the captaincy at the Eels camp that was the difference between the two teams, with most of the disparity coming from the Eels exploiting the weakness in the Warrior’s line up in rookie winger Fissiahi. The Eels racked up big meters, as well as a fairly low amount of missed tackles, if this performance is anything to go by the Eels season has a positive outlook. Jarryd Hayne had no major impact over the weekend; if he does this could be a major blow out
The Panthers were without a doubt the worst team over the weekend, and they deserve to be at the bottom of the ladder. 59% completion rate, 950m attacking, 50 missed tackles, 20 errors! These are amongst the worst team statistics I have ever seen. I have to admit, with the amount of missed tackles and errors they did well to keep the margin at 34 (Thanks to an after the buzzer try to Lachlan Coote). This week they are without strike weapon Michael Jennings, this could be much the same as the trial match result.
Prediction and Odds
The only thing stopping the Panthers from remaining at the bottom of the table after this weekend is if the Sharks get absolutely hammered by the Dragons. When these 2 met in the trials the Panther’s were without a few of their star players, Jennings was one of these, and will once again have to sit on the sidelines and watch as his team gets dominated. The Eels have no injuries and are playing full strength at home. This will be a 13+ victory to the Eels at the very least.
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