PARRAMATTA and Penrith produced a typical local derby clash with the Panthers eliminating the Eels 8 to 6 on Saturday night in Mackay.
In a scoreless second half, the Panthers prevailed with a gritty defensive display, to win the knockout final.
The Panthers now play Melbourne on Saturday, September 25 at Suncorp Stadium, 4pm. The winner adances to the grand final.
It will be a replay of the 2020 grand final, in which the Storm, won 26 to 20. The loser will bow out of the competition.
Panthers halfback Nathan Cleary kicked a crucial penalty goal to put his team ahead, ultimately the final score.
Coach Ivan Cleary praised his team’s defence especially when under pressure.
“It was fitting we had to win with a defensive stand,” he said at the post match press conference.
“You are not going to win too many tight games by 40 point. We will back our defence.”
Eels coach Brad Arthur said his team was shattered by the loss.
Arthur said after the game he told how proud he was of the players for full commitment and effort.
“We had our chances, we have to move on,” Arthur said.
“I cannot ask anymore from them, I thought we played pretty well tonight.”
Both teams scored one try each, slugging it out in a gripping 80 minute battle.
Waka Blake scored t h e Eels only try and Panthers Kurt Capewell scored h ius team’s soke try.
Nathan Cleary, Kurt Capewell and Isaah Yeo, were three of the Panthers best.
For the Eels, captain Clint Gutherson, Mitchell Moses and prop Reagan Campbell-Gillard were outstanding.