Mitchell Moses the hero while Parramatta Eels sink the Penrith Panthers in a crazy NRL Grand Finals rematch
Parramatta’s Mitchell Moses has celebrated his long-awaited contract extension by scoring the crucial field goal against local rivals Penrith to cap a 17-16 overtime victory that kick-started the Eels season.
With 16-14 and 20 seconds left in a high-profile rematch in the Grand Finals, Parramatta gave the Panthers one last chance to equalize when junior Paulo missed Zac Hosking’s flush jaw and was beset by sin.
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Nathan Cleary kicked for touch and with the ball in play he was drilling a two-point field goal to level the game just as the siren sounded.
But Mitch Kenny’s high shot at Waqa Blake reduced the visitors to 12 in the first minute of extra time and marched the Eels up where Moses had iced the game.
Both Kenny and Paulo can expect their shots to be reviewed by the Match Review Committee.
Thursday’s win at CommBank Stadium will give the Eels untold confidence after a 3-0 start that threatened to resolve their Premiership tipping before it had started. In 115 years of professional rugby league in Australia, only once has a team started a season 4-0 and lifted the trophy.
Rather than folding for a fourth straight week, Parramatta put on their most disciplined and patient performance yet to show how they came within striking distance of last season’s title.
Penrith, meanwhile, have started their Premiership defense with a win and two losses. Without Viliame Kikau and Api Koroisau, their attack was below the Grand Final best, scoring just 44 points in their first three games compared to 86 in the same period last year.
Hours after signing his much-anticipated contract extension, Moses had some great moments in regular time, including two forced misses, a tackle on Luke Garner near the line and a strike on Jarome Luai that forced a first-half error.
The Eels controlled the territorial fight early on and closed the first half on 94 percent. They looked most likely to their left where the Panthers were vulnerable on game day with a Liam Martin hamstring injury.
Dylan Brown split the defense with a Grubber kick that found Bryce Cartwright in the 14th minute and two Penrith errors in quick succession invited the Eels to continue their dominance.
However, it was the Panthers who scored next, against the flow of play.
Isaah Yeo managed to free his arms in a tackle and offloaded to Scott Sorensen, fresh off the bench, and the ever-present Dylan Edwards was there to finish things off.
A penalty goal from Nathan Cleary leveled the score 8-8 on the half-time whistle.
In his NRL debut, 23-year-old Penrith junior Brendan Hands broke the stalemate for Parramatta after his teammates split the ball down the right flank mid-half.
Moses’ second penalty took the lead to eight but Penrith had plenty of time, first closing to two points thanks to a Zac Hosking try and then leveling thanks to Cleary in the last 20 seconds.
But Cleary, the game’s top clutch player, was trumped in overtime by fellow No.7 Moses.
https://7news.com.au/sport/rugby-league/mitchell-moses-the-hero-as-parramatta-eels-sink-penrith-panthers-in-crazy-nrl-grand-final-rematch-c-10135693 Mitchell Moses the hero while Parramatta Eels sink the Penrith Panthers in a crazy NRL Grand Finals rematch