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Player ratings for the Penrith Panthers team in their Telstra Premiership semi-final clash with the Parramatta Eels at BB Print Stadium, Mackay.

1. Dylan Edwards: Shaky under the high ball in the first half. Unable to defuse a devilish bomb from Mitch Moses and former Panther Waqa Blake pounced to score the opening try. Redeemed himself with his work in attack, racking up 100-plus metres in each half. Saved a try when Blake Ferguson looked set to score. 7.5/10

2. Stephen Crichton: Refused to give up on a wild flick pass and dragged the ball back into play sustaining a Panthers attack. Denied a try soon after when his toe brushed the line in goal when he was in the act of scoring. Pulled off an acrobatic intercept to deny Parramatta. 7

3. Paul Momirovski: Repeatedly stressed the Eels' right-side defence with probing runs and three offloads, finishing with 124 metres from 16 runs. Almost engineered a first-half Crichton try with a flick pass. 6

4. Matt Burton: Penrith's leading try-scorer ran hard for over 100 metres but couldn't punch his way through the gallant Eels defence. 6.5

20. Brent Naden: Rock solid under the high ball and added value with a number of long kick returns. Ran the ball 18 times for 132 metres. Denied a try by an off-side ruling when he looked to have turned a brutal floating bomb into four points. 6.5

Cleary with the deft kick for Capewell

6. Jarome Luai: Started brightly but faded as the match went on and was only Panthers back not to top 100 metres. Denied a try by an obstruction ruling then took a try off the board when he was offside in the lead-up to the Naden "score". 6.5

7. Nathan Cleary: Immaculate kicking game, highlighted by the grubber that resulted in Kurt Capewell's try, and finished with 811 metres as he maintained intense pressure on Parramatta. Was also aggressive running the ball, finishing with 18 runs for 125m. 8.5

8. Moses Leota: Delivered a number of big hits but played just 34 minutes. Lifted his work-rate slightly in the second half but still finished with modest numbers. 6

9. Api Koroisau: Tackled ferociously (44 tackles) as the Eels big men pounded the middle of the ruck and almost put Cleary over for Penrith's second with a line break and a run deep into Eels territory. Held up when he burrowed his way over as Penrith pressed for the decisive try. 7.5

10. James Fisher-Harris: Stood shoulder to shoulder with Koroisau in repelling Parramatta's middle men. Tallied 13 tough carries for 100-plus metres and topped the Panthers tackle count with 49. 7.5

17. Liam Martin: Promoted to the starting line-up on match-day but didn't provide a significant  lift. Industrious in defence but only a handful of carries in attack. 5.5

12. Kurt Capewell: Put himself in position to pounce on Cleary's grubber to get Penrith on the board. Got through a lot of work in defence (46 tackles), vying for top-dog status with Koroisau and Fisher-Harris. 7.5

13. Isaah Yeo: Complemented his linkman work with plenty of hard carries (135m) while still doing his fair share of work in defence. 8

Huge defensive play from Crichton


11. Viliame Kikau: Benched pre-game and had little impact when introduced to the fray. Announced his arrival with a pair of loose offloads and finished with only 31 minutes of game time after being forced off by injury. 4.5

14. Mitch Kenny: Only limited involvement but tackled his heart out when he had the opportunity, racking up a tackle a minute before he too left the contest with an ankle injury. 5

15. Scott Sorensen: Limited game time after making a miracle return to the side. Worked hard in defence, pulling off better than a tackle a minute. 5.5

16. Tevita Pangai jnr: Massive impact off the bench. Ran hard and racked up the stats with 17 runs and 137m while popping three offloads in just 31 minutes. Held up over the line as Penrith looked to break the game open. 7.5


The views in this article do not necessarily express the opinions of the NRL, ARLC, NRL clubs or state associations.


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