The Penrith Panthers have upset the Parramatta Eels 13-12 after fill-in Panthers five-eighth Matt Burton kicked the winning field goal in the final minute of the game.
But the game wasn’t without controversy.
Eels halfback Mitchell Moses had a chance to kick the winning penalty goal in the final 30 seconds after an Eels player was escorted from contesting the ball but the halfback missed the kick.
There was a lot riding on this game for the Eels playmaker because not only were two competition points on the line but a NSW number seven jersey was up for grabs after Nathan Cleary was ruled out for four to six weeks with an injury, which has ruled him out of State of Origin Game 3.
I don’t like putting hate on players of any sport because they’re doing more than what I do and what most people do but Mitchell Moses really should’ve iced the game for the Eels, especially with the Panthers missing their main playmaker.
There was a lot of news surrounding Moses about whether or not he should wear the number seven for the Blues in Game 3 but he’s not ready.
Moses did finish the game with one try assist but that was lucky because Panthers fill-in fullback Charlie Staines let the ball bounce and Eels second-row forward Isaiah Papali’i took the ball and scored.
Moses’ running game was basically non-existent and he didn’t have a line break or a line break assist but his kicking game was okay. Nowhere close to another playmaker who will be auditioning for that Blues number seven jersey who plays for South Sydney.
I’m going to stop talking about Moses for now and move onto the Panthers’ dummy-half Api Koroisau, who came up with multiple moments by himself, which swung momentum to the Panthers’ side. He got his team two or three set restarts and got over to score a try but he also made a whopping 62 tackles for three misses.
The wingers for the Panthers combined for 504 running metres with Brian To’o running for 259 and Brent Naden running for 245.
Naden didn’t look that bad in his return to first grade with the future Canterbury Bulldog also having two tackle breaks, one line break and 102 post-contact metres. Tyrone May also had a solid defensive game with 38 tackles but five misses.
The quiet achiever as always is Isaah Yeo, who is also underrated along with being the quiet achiever. The lock forward ran for 158 metres and was perfect in defence with 38 tackles for zero misses.
NSW Blues coach Brad Fittler shouldn’t go with Mitchell Moses but he should go with the very experienced Adam Reynolds, whose kicking game is as good or better than Cleary’s. He’s also been there before in 2016 but we will see on Sunday how he plays against the Tigers.