At a soggy Victoria Park, the Eels came from behind and fended off a late challenge from the home team to claim the 28-20 win.
The Panthers led 10-6 at the break.
Both teams displayed some quality skills but were restricted due to the swampy condition of the field.
In the other premier match, defending champions Ngatangiia Matavera Sea Eagles overcame Arorangi Bears 28-20 at Nukupure Park.
In reserves, Eels thumped the Panthers 60-4 while the Sea Eagles overcame the Bears 28-24.
In the women’s 9s match, Town defeated Country 32-0. Country were missing a few of their players in the game.