Player ratings for the Parramatta Eels team in their Telstra Premiership semi-final clash with the Penrith Panthers at BB Print Stadium, Mackay.
1. Clint Gutherson: A captain's knock - safe at the back and plenty of tough carries to rack up 247 metres. Threw a forward pass that would've sent Haze Dunster over in the first half in the only blemish. 8/10
2. Haze Dunster: Safe on the edge and poked his head through the line with his kick returns to get the side in good yardage. Earned a repeat set before half-time but let the Panthers off the hook with an error a set later. 7
3. Will Penisini: Strong in defence on opposite number Matt Burton to shut down any threat the Panthers had on the left edge. Got busier with the ball in the second half as the game went down to the wire. 7.5
4. Waqa Blake: Full of energy early to score the first try of the evening before a head injury assessment halted his momentum. Returned and did no wrong. 7
Moses bamboozles Edwards with a floating bomb and Blake gets the bounce
5. Blake Ferguson: Made a break late in the game but was overall well contained coming out of his end. A brick wall in defence, highlighted by a try-saver on Matt Burton early. If it's his final game in the NRL, he can hold his head high. 6.5
6. Dylan Brown: Busy taking on the line the whole game. A try saver on Nathan Cleary among his highlights, along with a smart captain's challenge in the first half. 7
7. Mitch Moses: Did everything he could to get the side over the line. A nice kick for Waqa Blake's try with his running game also on show. Finished the game with over 700 kick metres. Just couldn't come up with the big play late. 7.5
8. Reagan Campbell-Gillard: Picked up where he left off last week with a busy game against his former club, churning out 151 metres. Placed on report for a high shot on Moses Leota in his only concern leading into 2022. 8
9. Ray Stone: Another mammoth defensive effort with a team-high 42 tackles but three errors from dummy-half in the second half put his side under enormous pressure late. 5.
10. Junior Paulo: Among the side's best in the middle, churned out a big work rate and left nothing in the tank but an error in the final minute will haunt him all off-season. 7.5
11. Shaun Lane: Quiet opening with only four carries in the first half and it didn't really get much better after that. Penalised for a high tackle before half-time to allow the Panthers to push up-field and kick a penalty goal. Needed to put pressure on Nathan Cleary. 6
Penisini with the monster fend on Burton
12. Marata Niukore: Strong carries and tackles early, throwing his body into everyone in his way, but placed on report twice to undo his good work on the edge. 6.5
13. Nathan Brown: Disappointing opening with a poor offload leading to Penrith's only try. Five missed tackles against his name saw him hooked by Brad Arthur after 27 minutes and he never returned. 4
14. Will Smith: Slotted in on the left edge with ease when Waqa Blake was off for a HIA. Penalised for a high shot on Liam Martin, enabling the Panthers to take a lead at half-time in what ended up splitting the two sides after 80 minutes. 6
Amazing scramble defence from the Eels early
15. Isaiah Papali'i: Provided plenty of go-forward from the bench to rack up 124 metres and cap a tremendous personal season in the blue and gold. Should he have started on the edge? Possibly. 7
16. Bryce Cartwright: Limited game time and didn't have too much of an impact on the game or result. 5.5
17. Ryan Matterson: A strong return from the recalled back-rower to churn out over 135 metres. Another who might've benefitted from starting. 7.5
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