Parramatta snap Penrith’s NRL record home winning streak with epic 22-20 upset victory

In another bumper night of NRL action, Parramatta have pulled off a massive upset against Penrith while Canberra managed to hold on against Canterbury.

Check out all the news, scores and stats below.

Eels 22 def Panthers 20

Penrith’s record run at home is over after Parramatta became the first team to beat the defending premiers at Bluebet Stadium in three years with a shock 22-20 victory.

With coach Ivan Cleary watching on from his hospital bed with an infected knee, the Panthers gave up a 14-10 lead with 15 minutes on Friday night to go to suffer their first loss of the season.

In a ferocious western Sydney derby that was not without drama, the Eels finished stronger before a late two-point field goal attempt from Nathan Cleary fell short in the final minute.

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The result snapped Penrith’s 21-match winning streak at home, which marked the longest of any team in the NRL-era.

In doing so Parramatta became the first team to beat Penrith at the ground since Canberra in July 2019, at a time when lockdown-inducing pandemics were a thing for Hollywood movies.

And while Ivan Cleary was hospital-bound after requiring surgery and Cameron Ciraldo’s COVID-19 case left Andrew Webster in charge, neither of the more experienced mentors could have done much to stop the Eels.

Clint Gutherson was brilliant in the win and Shaun Lane skilful in the second row, while Junior Paulo was big in a massive front-row battle.

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And crucially, when it mattered most Parramatta were able to take their chances.

Leading 14-10 with with 18 minutes to play and after dominating the second-half tug-of-war, the Panthers made an uncharacteristic mistake with James Fisher-Harris putting the ball down on halfway after a set restart.

It took the visitors just four minutes to capitalize, with Gutherson putting Ryan Matterson through a hole to give the Eels an unlikely lead.

And suddenly when Dylan Edwards let a Mitch Moses bomb bounce on the next set and Dylan Brown chased through to score, Parramatta led 22-14 and victory was in sight.

Earlier Will Penisini had put Gutherson over for the Eels’ opener on the last, before the controversy really began.

Parramatta were awarded a penalty try when Jaeman Salmon held Reed Mahoney back close to the line, before the Eels hooker took an offload and fell just short.

The bunker ruled he would have scored if not for the foul play, helping Parramatta take a 10-6 lead.

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Penrith hit back in even more dramatic circumstances before the break, with referee Gerard Sutton inexplicably missing a clear Viliame Kikau knock-on.

From the next play Kikau was able to kick for Taylan May to score, with the powerful second-rower also putting his winger over with a deft ball early in the second half.

That made it 14-10 and at that point the Panthers looked set to pull away.

And while Spencer Leniu gave the hosts a sniff late, Parramatta held firm for one last set to claim a rare win away at the foot of the mountains.

AAP

Raiders 14 def Bulldogs 4

A late injury for Canberra legend Jarrod Croker has soured his side’s much-needed 14-4 NRL win against Canterbury at GIO Stadium.

Croker, 31, impressed in his first outing for the season but appeared to injure his shoulder diving to prevent a try in the 76th minute of Friday night’s clash.

The center was down for a number of minutes before walking from the field.

It was a sad ending to a scrappy contest that saw the Raiders snap their five-game losing streak, and perhaps most importantly avoid yet another second-half fade-out in moving to 3-6 for the season.

They began on the front foot and were held up in-goal twice in the first 10 minutes, with both sides combining for five errors in that span.

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The Raiders led on 17 minutes though, with Elliott Whitehead carrying multiple defenders over the line as he scored the opening try.

Five-eighth Matt Frawley — filling in for suspended star Jack Wighton — really broke the game open with a delightful try, throwing a dummy and skipping through a soft Canterbury defensive line to make it 10-0 in 33 minutes.

Things were looking too good to be true when Croker seemed to score before halftime, and they were as the try was ruled out due to a knock-on.

The 15th-placed Bulldogs (2-7) just couldn’t keep control of the football, completing just 52 per cent of their sets and allowing the Raiders 60 per cent of possession and an extra 400m in the first half.

They were lucky to be anywhere near Canberra after lengthy intercept returns from Hudson Young and Nick Cotric, with the Raiders settling for a penalty goal and a 12-0 advantage on 52 minutes.

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Home fans were fearing another collapse when Bulldogs five-eighth Matt Burton crossed for a try with 20 minutes to play, but Canberra closed the contest out with uncharacteristic composure.

The Raiders had performers across the board with 10 players running for more than 100m, led by Joe Tapine’s 180m.

It was an underwhelming performance from the Bulldogs, looking a shadow of the side that rolled the Sydney Roosters last weekend.

Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad’s return to the Canberra side was somewhat short-lived, taken from the field with a leg injury in the second half, while Josh Papali’i remained on the field after appearing to hurt his leg.

Controversially, Bulldog forward Tevita Pangai Jnr looked to drop an elbow into Raider Adam Elliott’s head while on the ground early in the contest, but he avoided anything other than a penalty.

AAP

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