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Eels go down - Australian Rugby league News
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globalrugbyleague - Fri, 22 Feb 2008 21:32:00 GMT
Parramatta coach Michael Hagan was full of praise for his young team despite watching them go down 30 points to 28 against Penrith in their first NRL trial game.

Two near identical four pointers to Luke Rooney - in the 74th and 75th minutes of the match - sunk the Eels after they had led 28 points to 12 early
in the second half.

The double strike came after the Eels outperformed their opponents for much of the first 60 minutes of play, during which they crossed for five tries to
two.

Despite the result head coach Hagan said he was pleased with the effort shown.

"I was pretty happy overall, it was the first game of the year and we came with quite a few young players who I thought handled it extremely well," Hagan said.

"We think we've got some good talent in the football team and we probably left eight or ten of our better players behind.

"There were signs there that were fairly encouraging, Feleti Mateo and Brett Finch ran the team well, so did young Kris Keating and also Matt Keating was very tidy.

"We're very much looking forward to next week."

The Eels trailed early after Penrith lock Trent Waterhouse scored the first try of the match off a neatly held pass from Jarrod Sammut. Sammut then converted to make it six-nil to the Panthers after 11 minutes.

Overcoming a momentary lack of possession the Eels found the tryline ten minutes later through Joel Reddy, who touched down after a break down the short side by Krisnan Inu.

Inu then added the extras to put the match back on level terms.

The Panthers edged ahead again through a try to Rhys Wesser however the Eels wasted no time in hitting back, fullback Etu Uaisele reaping the spoils of a
well placed Brett Finch cross kick to score in the corner.

The Eels then took the lead, Matt Keating burrowing his way over next to the posts for Jarryd Hayne to convert and make it 16-12 Parramatta's way after half an hour.

The first ten minutes after half time looked to have proved decisive for the Eels with two converted tries stretching the buffer to 16 points at 28-12.

The first came just 60 seconds after the break, lock Weller Hauraki scoring off some excellent lead up work from Junior Paulo and Kris Keating.

Eight minutes later the Eels were in again, Mark Riddell scoring off a neat kick and re-gather.Tony Williams converted both tries to give the Eels breathing space.

Sammut narrowed the gap for the Panthers with 20 minutes remaining, scoring and converting to make it 28-18 the Eels way.

He then converted both Rooney tries to put the Panthers back in front at 30 to 28.

The Eels had one last surge and threatened the line wide out, only for the ball to sail over the sideline just before full time.

The only concern to come out of the match for the Eels was a medial ligament strain to young second rower Justin Horo, who will undergo scans in coming
days.

Penrith 30 (Luke Rooney 2, Trent Waterhouse, Rhys Wesser, Jarrod Sammut tries; Sammut 5/5) defeated Parramatta 28 (Joel Reddy, Etu Uaisele, Matt Keating, Weller Hauraki, Mark Riddell tries; Tony Williams 2/2, Jarryd Hayne 1/2, Krisnan Inu 1/1) at Lavington Sports Ground in Albury, NSW.
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