The Parramatta Eels have recorded their second victory of the 2014 NRL season with a solid performance defeating the Penrith Panthers 32-16 at Pirtek Stadium.
Chris Sandow made his presence known throughout the match as he returned in the Blue and Gold for the first time since Round 17, 2013.
Willie Tonga turned the match in favour of the home side after 15 minutes. He bolted 95 metres downfield taking an intercept pass as Dean Whare shifted to the right hoping to link with Dave Simmons. Chris Sandow back in the NRL side with the kicking duties, Eels 6-0.
Isaac John closed the gap 8 minutes later as he streamed into a yawning gap of the Eels defence. Matt Moylan providing the running game and short pass to set up the Panthers' first points. Mid-way through the first half, the game locked at 6-all
Nathan Peats racked up a true hookers true as he stole a four-pointer from acting half as he snuck over the try line next to the uprights. Parramatta jumped to 12-6 after 27 minutes.
After a run of penalties the momentum swung back in favour of the Panthers heading into half time. Lewis Brown in similar fashion to Nathan Peats dived over from dummy half to post the Panthers second try.
Parramatta went into the break leaders, 12-10 over the Panthers.
The Penrith Panthers fired quickly in the first half but it was their only points posted in the second half. Dean Whare hit and spin his way over the white wash two minutes after the break as Matt Moylan crafted the play. Panthers led, 14-12.
The Eels went on to score 20 unanswered points which started with Manu Ma’u crossing the try line for his first NRL try. A great power run saw him dive under three Penrith defenders. Parramatta took the lead after 46 minutes, 18-16.
The man they call the Semi-trailer, Semi Radradra lived up to his name. He trucked down the western sideline as Jarryd Hayne provided the foundation for Semi to shift a gear. Parramatta brilliant in attack leading 22-16.
Man of the Match, Jarryd Hayne was rewarded for his efforts as he burrowed his way under the defence on the goal line to steal a try from acting half. Parramatta headed into the final period of play ahead 28-16.
Ken Sio finished off the Eels solid performance as he had the fans dancing in stands. Sio darted over in the eastern corner as Hayne skipped away from the Panthers defence to link with Hopoate to set up the try.
Parramatta have a good record at home, all their wins in 2013 were racked up in their heartland. The Eels knocked over the Panthers, 32-16 for their second win of 2014.
Next week is Heritage Round and the Eels head north to battle Brisbane at Suncorp Stadium. Meanwhile the Panthers return to Penrith as they host the Canberra Raiders