Rivalry Round Clashes: Panthers v Eels

Penrith Panthers v Parramatta Eels
Famous Matches

May 28, 1967


The teams were sitting in equal last place with Cronulla, with just two wins apiece, but a bumper crowd of 12,917 turned up at Cumberland Oval for the first local derby of the western clubs.

The Eels, boasting internationals Ken Thornett, Barry Rushworth and Dick Thornett overwhelmed the visitors 25-2, after leading 10-0 at halftime.

The teams were:
PARRAMATTA: Ken Thornett (c); Len Stacker, Fred Pickup, Barry Rushworth, Joe Turski; Paul Gibson, Brian Winney; Ted Heinrich, Peter Linde, Dick Thornett, Barry Leaney, John McMartin, Mike Jones. Coach: Brian Hambly.
PENRITH: Wayne Peckham; Bob Landers, Doug Ricketson, David Applebee, Tom Wilson; Ern Gillon, Laurie Fagan (c); Colin Piper, Russ Johnstone, Maurie Burgmann, Wal Crust, Ron Workman, Bill McCall. Coach: Leo Trevena.
Parramatta 25 (Pickup, Rushworth, Gibson, Winney, Heinrich tries; Stacker 3 goals; K.Thornett, Winney field goals) beat Penrith 2 (Landers goal) at Cumberland Oval. Referee: Laurie Bruyeres.

September 7, 1985


Parramatta and Penrith met for the first time in a final series match.

Coached by Tim Sheens, the Panthers had qualified for the finals for the first time after edging out Manly 10-7 in a mid-week play-off for fifth place.

Four days later they backed up against the Eels at the Sydney Cricket Ground, but were crushed 38-6. Rampaging winger Eric Grothe scored two of Parramatta’s seven tries.

April 20, 1986


Penrith gained revenge on their semi-final defeat with a stoic 16-12 defeat of eventual premiers Parramatta in an absorbing contest at Penrith Park.

The Panthers had prop Paul Akkary sent off for a high tackle in only the eighth minute of the match, but the home team battled courageously to deny the all-star Eels. A crowd of more than 15,000 offered a standing ovation at halftime and they stood and applauded again at fulltime after Penrith defied all odds to win the game.

March 27, 1988

Under new coach Ron Willey and with experienced representative players Chris Mortimer and Peter Kelly now in their ranks, the Panthers had developed an imposing presence. They looked finals material from the early days of the 1988 competition and they displayed an ability to win the tightest of contests. Their clash against Parramatta early in 1988 was one of the toughest local derbies on record. Penrith managed to keep the Eels’ tryless and snuck home 8-6 in a high-quality encounter.

August 8, 1999

Referee Stephen Clark sent Penrith forwards John Cross and Matt Adamson to the sin bin midway through the second half of a captivating contest at Parramatta Stadium when the Panthers clung to a 16-10 lead.
Parramatta soon took advantage of a two-man overlap and a try to Jason Smith was converted by fullback Clinton Schifcofske, levelling the scores eight minutes from fulltime. Penrith failed with several chances at field goal before halfback Ben Kusto potted one-point for the Eels to give them a dramatic 17-16 victory.

Round 17, 2009
PANTHERS 38, EELS 34


CLICK HERE to watch this match now.


Penrith centre Michael Jennings showed why he was rated one of the most gifted attacking centres in the game when he played the starring role at CUA Stadium on a day when defence played second fiddle to all-out attack.
The lead changed six times before Jennings created the match-winning try in the Panthers’ 38-34 defeat of Parramatta.

It was not a game for the purist who evaluates a scoring play on the quality of the defence it beats but for the crowd of almost 17,000 on a bright sunny afternoon at Penrith it was a thrilling spectacle from opening whistle to final siren.

Appearing for the Panthers for the first time since damaging a calf muscle in the opening State of Origin match, Jennings dominated the contest with three tries before he deceived opposite Joel Reddy and sent winger Junior Tia-Kilifi away for the match-winner on his NRL debut.

“We should have hung on, but Michael Jennings had a big say in that,” said Eels coach Daniel Anderson. “He was outstanding. He was the difference between both sides. He was electrifying. The winning try ... Joel Reddy is a good player and a good defender and he [Jennings] smokes him.”

Fullback Jarryd Hayne was Parramatta’s most dangerous player with one try and hand in another for winger Luke Burt while five-eighth Daniel Mortimer continued his rapid ascent with a two-try input.