Nathan Cleary has produced an all-time nice finals efficiency to take Penrith to inside a win of their third straight NRL decider with a 27-8 victory over Parramatta.
In a glowing begin to the NRL finals, Cleary stole the present with a superb 10-minute interval within the second half to take the qualifying remaining away from the Eels.
On return from his five-match ban for a harmful deal with, the NSW No.7 terrorised the Eels along with his kicking sport and had a hand in all 4 Penrith tries.
An unpleasant head knock for halfback Mitch Moses, who regarded rattled after being collected attempting to make a deal with, added to Parramatta’s woes.
However by that time, the Panthers had been already nicely on high with the Eels’ staring down the barrel of one other do-or-die semi-final.
Cleary 3 times pressured errors out of Eels winger Waqa Blake, who had a nightmare attempting to area his former teammate’s bombs.
The Panthers’ first attempt got here off Blake’s first error, permitting Moses Leota to place Brian To’o over after a spilled bomb.
Cleary additionally nailed a 30-metre area objective on halftime for a 7-6 lead, earlier than exploding into motion when the Eels took a one-point lead early within the second half.
Sensing Blake was down on confidence, Cleary once more pressured an error out of the previous Panther with one other towering kick that hung within the air for a number of seconds.
From the following set, the Panthers No.7 swung the play to the correct, gave Stephen Crichton area with early ball and helped him put Brian To’o over.
Cleary then grubber-kicked early for Dylan Edwards to attain eight minutes later, earlier than dummying his means into area and placing James Fisher-Harris over within the subsequent set.
And identical to that, it was 25-8 and the sport was executed.
Parramatta now discover themselves in the identical spot they’ve been in 4 of the previous 5 years, with a match towards Melbourne or Canberra subsequent Friday to advance to a preliminary remaining.
A loss would in any other case proceed their horror run in semi-finals, the place they’ve been eradicated in 2017, 2019, 2020 and 2021.
Whether or not they are going to have Moses accessible can be in query, with a seven-day turnaround which means he’ll want clearance from an impartial neurologist if recognized with concussion.
Moses had earlier kicked properly within the first half earlier than his harm, whereas Reed Mahoney was one of many Eels’ finest as he put Oregon Kaufusi over for the Eels’ solely attempt.
Penrith even have some considerations.
Winger Taylan Might left the sphere with a leg harm late within the match, after additionally being sin-binned for a excessive shot early on after controversially being allowed to play by the NRL.
Prop Spencer Leniu was additionally positioned on report for a excessive shot on Isaiah Papali’i, with something larger than a grade-one cost set to see him prone to lacking matches.