By Patrick Caruana , AAP
An undermanned Penrith upset a near-full strength Parramatta 32-12 at an NRL trial match at CUA Stadium on Saturday.
On a night the NRL went head-to-head with an AFL pre-season cup game at Blacktown, an impressive crowd of 11,113 watched the Panthers cruise to victory.
This was despite the absence of representative stars Petero Civoniceva, Michael Jennings, Luke Lewis and Trent Waterhouse.
Early premiership favourites Parramatta were almost at full strength, with Nathan Hindmarsh and Timana Tahu, the only absences from the side that is likely to line up for the season-opener with St George Illawarra on March 12.
The Panthers had all the early play, hitting the front in the fifth minute when Shane Elford crossed in the left corner, put in by a sizzling pass from Wade Graham.
They scored a second try nine minutes later, when Jarryd Hayne made an uncharacteristic blunder, dropping the ball in goal while fielding a Luke Walsh kick, with the halfback reacting quickest to pounce and put the Panthers 8-0 in front.
The Eels were sluggish throughout, with the exception of Fuifui Moimoi, who evidently hadn't been told the game was just a trial, making his impact felt when he came off the bench in the first half.
Parramatta's first try came when Ben Smith rose highest to touch down after great kick from Matt Keating on the 26-minute mark.
Leading 14-6 at half time, the Panthers continued where they left off in the second stanza, with Travis Burns scoring two tries in 10 minutes, ensuring Penrith claimed the Battle of the West Cup.
Luke Burt put some respectability back on the scoresheet when he combined cleverly with Shane Shackleton for Parramatta's second try.
However, the win came at a cost for Penrith, who lost David Simmons through a shoulder injury and Brad Tighe with a leg complaint.
Eels five-eighth Daniel Mortimer left the field with a head injury midway through the first half and played no further part, but Eels officials were confident no he had sustained no serious damage.
Smith, was also in the wars and will be sent for scans for a cheek injury on Sunday.